Inspired by Debord’s Détournement, activists use existing media to “turn expressions of the capitalist system and its media culture against itself. Likewise, activists are using media campaigns to counter Sudan’s blackout. Blue photos and hashtags such as #BLUEFORSUDAN and #IAMTHESUDANREVOLUTION have circulated across the web bringing the struggle to international light and solidarity. Short summaries of the Al-Bashir dictatorship and in real time updates are also being shared.
By Lara al-Kateb
“The root of the spectacle is the specialization of power. It is hierarchical society’s ambassador to itself, delivering its official messages at a court where no one else is allowed to speak.”
In 1967, the Situationist Movement delivered one of the most profound critical Marxists positions on power known as the theory of the Spectacle. Derived from Marx’s commodity fetishism, the Spectacle describes the effect induced by an accumulation of images through which social relations are to be understood. It is a phenomenon that demands the reordering of life, politics and art. In this article, I will argue how the Spectacle along with State Violence has played an integral role in the subordination of people during the popular uprising in Syria and ,currently in Sudan. Moreover, we will discuss ways to challenge and counter it.
In State Violence as State Terrorim (2012), Ruth Blakeley stipulates that state violence is ‘used to coerce populations into complying with the wishes of elites. It uses the violence to instil fear in an audience.’ In Syria, this form of state violence was enacted by two methods that are physical and psychological violence.
According to Human Rights organization IAMSYRIA, 7000 people have been killed in 2018 while 10, 000 people have been killed in 2017 alone. The total death count due to conflict exceeds half a million persons to date. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that by 2015 an estimated