The Insurgent Barricade as Political Symbol and Photographic Subject
The article explores the symbolic status of the insurgent barricade and its curious visual marginalisation or absence in photographic representation of recent political and economic protests from Gezi Park to Maidan Nezalezhnosti. The insurgent barricade is a potent visual icon, a symbol of revolutionary tradition and a metonymy of a failing society. Although the barricade always has an immediate physical, tactical value in the struggle of insurgents against the repressive apparatuses of the state, the author argues that in the uprisings that accompany the present economic and political crisis, the primary value of the barricade is symbolic: the barricade is a materialisation of the challenged legitimacy of the existing economic, social or political order in the name of greater democratization and therefore a visual manifestation of democracy which articulates, however briefly, the idea of demos, of citizens as a functioning political community.
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