Daniele Salerno

The smartphone that leads the people. 2.0 Revolutions and Orientalism in the media coverage of the Iranian Rebellion and the Arab Spring

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Keywords: Arab Spring, Sea of Green, Twitter revolution, Orientalism, web 2.0.

Since 2009 the expressions «Twitter Revolution» and «Web 2.0 Revolution» have been used by mass media to label the social movements and uprisings which have flourished in some Muslim-majority countries. This essay analyses the ways in which this new political imaginary has been shaped within political and journalistic discourse and photographic representations. By looking at Said's work on Orientalism and on «Islam as news», I argue that this narrative works as a restructuring of the orientalist field and as a way of overcoming the post-9/11 narratives. If, on the one hand, this imaginary tries to depict a sort of new alliance between the «Western technology» and the «Oriental Revolutionary», on the other it refashions the hegemonic position of the West through the idea of «technologies of liberation», depicting a West that allows the oriental subaltern to revolt and by turning him/her into a revolutionary.

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