Dr. Dorna Safaian is an art and media scientist who lectures and researches at the University of Siegen. She is a research assistant on the project “Images of Indignation – Amateur Practices of Visualizing Protest” (University of Siegen/TU Berlin), funded by the German Research Foundation. Safaian studied Art History, Philosophy/Aesthetics, Art Science/Media Theory at the University of Heidelberg and University of Arts and Design Karlsruhe, where she earned her doctorate with a dissertation on the Islamic prohibition of images and the reception of this concept by fundamentalists. Her publications focus is on aesthetics and the linking of politics, religion and image.
In protest movements, visual media perform various functions, such as communicating grievances, attracting public attention, shaping communal emotions, or defining a collective self-description.
Despite the central role of visual media, few substantial analyses tackle their complex role in protest movements. Typically, social movement research concentrates on textual sources; visual material is often treated as mere illustration rather than a source in its own right. “Images of Indignation – Amateur Practices of Visualizing Protest” (University of Siegen/TU Berlin) addresses this research gap. Which media practices and visual discourses are characteristic of protest movements? How is indignation about a postulated grievance visualized? What is the relationship between emotion and image in the context of protest? “Images of Indignation” pursues these questions by examining three German protest movements since the 1970s, including Gay Rights. The following example demonstrates the value of studying visual media while researching this movement.Continue reading “Why Images? The Role of Visual Media in Protest Movement Research”