Digital Literacies

Researching New Literacies, Learning and Everyday Life

Selfies Day

with 2 comments

I attended a day about Selfies in Manchester last week, led by Farida Vis.

Crystal Abidin was super interesting, talking about the way a Singaporean politician has curated an online self in order to promote himself. The way he does this, involving others to tweet about him (etc) reminded me of the paper Jill Walker wrote many years ago on Distributed Narrative. This idea of encouraging others to write about you in order to endorse a particular presence is obviously risky but great if it works.

As luck would have it, Jill was also presenting and talked about Selfies not just in terms of the image, but also in terms of what you write about yourself and how we collect statistics of ourselves all the time. As an avid fitbit user, etc etc I was very interested in this idea and grateful for the ‘permission’ to think about Selfies in a broader way. Jill’s new book gives more detail. I ordered it from my iPad while listening and received it the next day. Nice.

Fascinating stuff also about Selfies as political work and to think about Selfies not just as superficial vanity projects is important. They are usually more than this. In this respect we saw images of Israeli soldiers who had made Selfies of themselves endorsing gruesome acts of aggression against Gazan people. Adi Kuntsman described the making of Selfies as a deeply political act, as acts of performance.

Finally, Simon Faulkner, also focusing on Israel and Gaza talked about the Selfie as protest and the way people have started using text on placards in their images. I have seen this a lot lately, even in videos and wonder why people use this format. It does draw you in quite intensely.

From Abu Rhame\'s Facebook photographs

A really great day which has inspired me, after three years, to blog again. (It does take ages though).

Written by DrJoolz

April 19th, 2015 at 12:02 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses to 'Selfies Day'

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  1. Thanks for this – I used to look at jill/txt regularly, but I haven’t kept up with her work/blog for years, so that was a useful link. Liveblogging has meant I spend a lot less time blogging things – or rather it FEELS like I spend less time on it.
    I thought about going to this event, but fortunately I hadn’t signed up as I am in the mess of a temporary office and had a croaky sore throat last week (2 things not unconnected, I think!)

    Sheila Webber

    20 Apr 15 at 7:08 pm

  2. Appophenia Sheila, that’s what you had. Dana boyd suffers from this too. It’s actually a virtue.
    Jill Walker Rettberg was very nice, approachable etc – I find that not all people I have admired from afar tend to be nice when I actually meet them. Her book is really good.


    20 Apr 15 at 8:06 pm

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