My paper, “Technoliberal Participation: Black Lives Matter and Instagram Slideshows” was just published in AoIR’s Selected Papers of Internet Research archive.
After the murder of George Floyd in May 2020, Black Lives Matter protests surged around the globe. Amid COVID-19, activism on social media flourished. On Instagram, use of the ten-image carousel as an informative slideshow akin to a PowerPoint presentation gained significant attention: The New York Times highlighted their “effort to democratize access to information.” In this paper, I rhetorically analyze case studies to illustrate how Instagram slideshows facilitated deliberation about participation. I argue that these posts reveal a tension in platformed digital activism: as digital templates broaden access to participation, technoliberal ideology constrains activist judgment.Salzano, Matthew. 2021. “Technoliberal participation: Black Lives Matter and Instagram Slideshows.” Association of Internet Researchers Selected Papers in Internet Research.
This project is ongoing. In Communication Teacher, Victoria Ledford and I offer a pedagogical guide to Instagram Activism Slideshows for college educators. In a dissertation chapter, I look closely at a media history of slideshows–how did they arrive on Instagram, and what rhetorical features did they bring with them? This chapter is connected to a digital archive (currently in Beta testing) that hopes to support scholars, educators, and activists who want to browse a collection of slideshows for education, criticism, and/or inspiration.
I look forward to sharing more, and please reach out if you’re interested in chatting more about Instagram activism via slideshows.
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