Tit-for-Tat Media

Forthcoming: NYC, Routledge, 2021-2022

Tit-For-Tat Media: Hijacking Art and Rebranding Revolution



Tit-for-Tat Media: Hijacking Art and Rebranding Revolution  was initiated as a critical enquiry into the “extreme” media and “sexualized” media of contemporary political movements . The book will be guided by an analysis of morphing media aesthetics and the challenges they pose for civil rights and sexuality.It argues that emancipatory artforms and visual icons are being “hijacked” and/or popularized for online campaigning by different political groups. The book will present a socially engaged theory of “tit-for-tat media” based on case-studies from Hong Kong, mainland Chinese and European activist movements and show how they make use of visual cultures, including gendered or sexualized imagery.

The book is based on in-depth immersive online ethnography and interviews with activists and protest-artists in Chinese and European societies. From alluring manga and cartoon figures to obscene postings and hate-speech, sexuality is being mobilized by both alt-right groups and pro-democracy activists in their struggle for cultural hegemony. In East-Asian societies, youth activists increasingly make use of alluring manga and hentai figures and “cuteness” culture in general. The book showcases oppositional movements and cultures to discuss the role, affect and ethics of visual imagery.