CIS 720 Seminar – Doing Visual Activism: A Practice-based Approach to the Study of Visual Social Media Use by Kia’i Mauna Kea

Please join us at the CIS 720 Seminar tomorrow, October 5 (4:30p-5:30p), for Moshe Karabelnik’s presentation on “Doing Visual Activism: A Practice-based Approach to the Study of Visual Social Media Use by Kia’i Mauna Kea”.

Abstract

The presentation will include two parts. The first and more substantial part, will include a presentation of my research so far and the paper I will be presenting at HICSS 2021 – a practice-based approach to the study of online social activism using visual social media.

My 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, I will pose the question: What do Kia’i do with visual social media? To answer this question, I looked at the use of Instagram by Kia’i using the methodology of Visual Cross Platform Analysis. I aim to uncover the complex practices used by social activists to regain control over “The intrinsically divisive nature of media’s symbolic power, the division of the social between those with access to media’s vast concentrations of representational power and those without such access” (Couldry, 2012)

The second part will include a short review of my process from my first year to being accepted to HICSS and my plans for the following years of my PhD.

Bio
Moshe Karabelnik is a CIS PhD student. He is interested in the practice of using digital images in social media and wants to understand what people are doing with visual media in their everyday lives. He is currently working on understanding the use of visual media in the creation of group identities in political conflict.