Burning Images – A History of Effigy Protests
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Effigy hanging and burning, a specific theatrical form of political protest, has become increasingly visible in the news media, particularly in protests against United States military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, in US domestic politics, and in the Arab Spring. Taking these events as points of departure, Göttke investigates the conditions of this visual genre of protest, its roots and genealogies in a number of countries, its aesthetics and politics. Effigy protests communicate communal outrage over perceived injustice. Hanging and burning effigies is an archaic and ritualistic form of protest, yet it is effectively communicated through global news media and social media, mediated, and used trans-nationally. The book contains two interacting narratives: text (seven chapters) and a parallel montage of images. It delves deeply into the different practices, iconologies, rituals, protest and media strategies, as well as into politics and concludes with a reflection on how the effigy protests act as a symptom of fundamental conflicts at the limits of contemporary liberal democracy.