Doing Visual Activism. A Practice-based Approach to the Study of Visual Social Media Use by Kia’i Mauna Kea

Date
2021-01-05
Authors
Karabelnik, Moshe
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Abstract
This article applies a practice-based approach to the study of social movements using visual social media. The article explores the visual practices of the social activist group Kia’i (protectors) [of] Mauna Kea, a sacred summit on the island of Hawai’i and the proposed location of the world’s largest telescope: The Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT). Following Nick Couldry [1], this article poses the question: What do Kia’i do with visual social media? To answer this question, the use of Instagram by Kia’i was examined using the methodology of Visual Cross Platform Analysis [2]. This research expands on VCPA methodology, implementing a practice-based approach to uncover how practices of visual social media anchor [1] and overlap the practices of social movements [3]. This article brings to light some of the complex practices used by social activists to regain control over symbolic capital [4] from state and media institutions
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Culture, Identity, and Inclusion, instagram, mauna kea, practice theory, social movement, visual social media
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