Monday, July 27, 2009

Article Feature: Shoe Throwing as Political Protest

From the latest Media, War & Conflict (August 2009; Vol. 2, No. 2).

The art of shoe-throwing: shoes as a symbol of protest and popular imagination

Yasmin Ibrahim

University of Brighton, UK, y.ibrahim@brighton.ac.uk

The art of shoe-throwing has captured popular imagination and is here to stay as a form of popular political protest. In a recent incident, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao became a near-victim of a notorious flying shoe during his visit to London in February 2009. Shoe-throwing has become a celebrated art form ever since an Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then US President George W. Bush, eternally sealing Bush's last presidential moments with the iconic image of the shoe. Popular acts of communication and protests enter new forms of relationships with audiences and global spectators beyond the political context and the shoe-throwing incident is no exception. It has been consummately appropriated into popular culture and entertainment in the multimedia platforms of the internet, transforming political images and political protests into voyeuristic entertainment for the masses.

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