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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter April 7, 2015

Memes, Trojan horses and the discursive power of audience

Vladimír P. Polách
From the journal Human Affairs

Abstract

The study focuses on the phenomenon known as internet memes and their possible use in the creation and re-creation of media discourse. The main materials used are photos of Vladimir Putin and the famous Situation Room photo released by the White House. The stance taken in the study is based on the familiar and simple assumption that thanks to the new media we are facing the end of classical photography, sometimes described as the post-photography era. In post-photography, the connotations and context are more important than the content itself. Internet memes, a phenomena typical for the new media, can then also be used in a political context, where the “original” photographs of politicians and political events, usually officially released by PR departments, are altered not only to change the content, but above all the connotations. While regarded by most as jokes and puns, user-generated re-interpretations of Vladimir Putin and Obama’s war on terror can also have deeper meanings and impacts

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Published Online: 2015-4-7
Published in Print: 2015-4-1

© Institute for Research in Social Communication, Slovak Academy of Sciences