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OWS: A Visual Primer

Social movements come with their own unique aesthetics, often drawing raw material from past protest traditions and performances, as well as from the font of plenty that is popular culture, and repurposing it in inventive new ways for the cause at hand. The movement that began with Occupy Wall Street has brought a bounty of images — ranging from cheeky and quirky to inspiring, devastating, provocative and beyond — that have come to the astute attention of visual culture scholars at USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism here in Truthdig’s hometown of Los Angeles. Get ready to be taken to school. –KA

USC Annenberg’s “Civic Paths”:

Commentators and participants have talked about the Occupation as an example of what Hakim Bey has called “temporary autonomous zone.” As Nathan Schneider put it, “the demand, so far, appears to be a process—one in which all people can speak and money can’t.” Although the Occupation is no doubt best experienced through the act of occupying, people have used various forms of media to make that activity visual and spreadable.

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