GRM 2010 GRM 2011

Abstract Details

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Writing on the Walls: An analysis of Political Space in Bahrain through social media and graffiti
Paper Proposal Text :
In Bahrain the walls tell the story of the fight for political space that has been characteristic of the Kingdom for the last two years. On February 14, 2011 Bahrainis began gathering at the Pearl Roundabout in Manama, the government of Bahrain subsequently cracked down on protests with the help of the Gulf Cooperation Council. Protestors were moved to the confines of their villages, and an image of stability was promoted through the international media. Images of graffiti calling for the fall of the regime, the commemoration of martyrs, and the continuation of the revolution colored the walls, and have been displayed beyond the physical space they occupy through social media outlets like twitter and Facebook. This paper attempts to bring two ideas, graffiti and social media, together as a lens to examine political space and the relationship between territorialized and de-territorialized space in Bahrain.
This paper aims to analyze the production of political graffiti, as well as the usage of social media, as a way to explain the political contestation of space within a post-Lulu Bahrain. Drawing on a database of images that document the appearance, reappearance, and disappearance of political graffiti in Bahrain, it attempts to explain the changing nature of politics within Bahrain as well as identity and space within three sub-cases, Riffa, Sitra and Saar.