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A Creature With Life of Its Own: Fascism as Media Practice

18. März 2021, 18.00 Uhr ONLINE Vortrag

Medienpraktiken des reflexiven Faschismus

Die Abteilung Ästhetik und Pragmatik audiovisueller Medien lädt zum Vortrag von SIMON STRICK (ZeM Brandenburg).

ONLINE Vortrag in engl. Sprache, Diskussion auf Deutsch – Anmeldung erforderlich

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The January 6th storm by far-right actors and a digitally-orchestrated crowd on the Capitol Building in Washington was only one culminating moment of the enduring phenomena of online fascism, digital extremism and their real-world effects. Digital and analog public spheres appear increasingly polarized by a rightwing culture war, with talking points like "cancel culture" or "leftist identity politics" making daily rounds on social (and increasingly legacy) media. At the same time that the material and discursive violence committed by far-right actors is imprinted on the daily goings-on of public discourse and society, the question arises to what extent such violence is embedded in the affordances of digital media themselves.

This talk will seize the current, confusing and precarious moment to offer some speculation about the futures of digital fascism and how it might endure and further mutate within digital environments. The visual, media-specific and memetic registers that online activists of the Alternative Right use in their highly effective communication will be discussed. Introducing analytical concepts like "reflexive fascism", "participatory propaganda", and "memetic agitation", various figures, memes, and styles of fascist agitation and media practice will be analyzed for affect, gender, meanings, and possible intervention points.

SIMON STRICK  is a scholar of Cultural, Media and Gender Studies. He received his phD from Humboldt University with a thesis on pain, sentimentalism and biopolitics; the book American Dolorologies was published with SUNY Press in 2014. He has held positions at Humboldt University, Paderborn University, JFK-Institute Berlin, ZfL Berlin and the University of Virginia. In 2018 he received a grant by the VW-Foundation for his research project Feeling (Alt)Right: Affective and Identity Politics of Online Extremism. The monograph Rechte Gefühle: Affekte und Strategien des digitalen Faschismus will be published by transcript in May 2021. He currently works at the ZeM Brandenburg. Together with Susann Neuenfeldt and Werner Türk, he founded the performance group PKRK, which is active in Berlin theatres since 2009.

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Abteilung Ästhetik und Pragmatik audiovisueller Medien