Digitally mediated martyrdom: The visual politics of posthumous images in the popular struggle for social justice

Research output: Other contributionOtherpeer-review


This thesis introduced a new way of studying how visual social media is used to protest unjust deaths, especially those caused by police brutality and other forms of state violence. It developed the concept of 'digitally mediated martyrdom' to describe the communication practices that emerge through the online circulation of posthumous digital images of victims. It applied this concept to the murder of Khaled Said in Egypt in 2010, and to the murder of Trayvon Martin in America in 2012. It used digital ethnography methods to explore the role that visual social media play in political discourse and protest mobilisations. The thesis found that the figure of the unintentional martyr is increasingly being deployed in social justice movements to give visibility to human rights abuses and to demand radical change.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherQueensland University of Technology
Number of pages272
Publication statusPublished - 23 Jul 2020

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