From Chiapas to Palestine: Historicizing Social Movement Media Before and Beyond the Arab Uprisings

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

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From Chiapas to Palestine: Historicizing Social Movement Media Before and Beyond the Arab Uprisings


  • Gretchen King Communication, Arts & Languages, Lebanese American University, Lebanon


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Abstract:  Critical scholarship investigating media and the Arab uprisings has called for “a return to history.” This article argues that researching the contemporary constraints and opportunities of social movement media in the Arab region requires historicizing such practices. Reflecting on the role of media activism within the Arab uprisings necessitates broadening the historical context of social movement media in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by investigating the diversity of media tactics and alternative political economies mobilized to resist the military-industrial communications complex. This article develops a political economy framework to historicize social movement media practices from Chiapas to Palestine and provides a critical reflection on the use of media for revolution before and beyond the Arab uprisings. Learning from the long and global history of revolutionary media struggle is beneficial to media activists and researchers working in the MENA region.

Keywords:  Arab uprisings; Chiapas; media activism; MENA; Mexico; revolution; Palestine; political economy of communication; social movement media

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/mac.v9i4.4455


© Gretchen King. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.