« All articles from this issue

Javnost - The Public, Vol. 31 - 2024, No. 2

Not Forgetting Black Lives Matter: Memory Protest and Counterpublics

, pages: 253-269[open access]

This article examines the relationship between social networks, protest and memory. It begins by focusing on activists’ attempts to supplement official narratives before going on to explore the way the digital offers mechanisms that both ameliorate and heighten the fear of forgetting. It goes beyond an investigation of the role played by “activists” in these dynamics and reflects upon the memory work undertaken by “ordinary people.” These arguments are underpinned by an analysis of Black Lives Matter hashtags such as #SayHisName. It argues that the ubiquitous and repetitious sharing of tweets in which the names of those who have died at the hands of the police are hashtagged should be understood as an online commemorative practice similar to that undertaken at in real world vigils. Finally, it highlights the way in which the hashtag #SayHerName draws the public’s attention to persistent intersectional inequalities and so expands activist and ordinary people’s understandings of police violence in America and beyond. This article concludes by suggesting that the hashtag #SayTheirNames both recalls the individuals who have already died and anticipates the deaths that are yet to come in an effortful and ritualised moment of not forgetting that Black Lives Matter.

Full text (PDF/ePub) | Export Reference |

« All articles from this issue