Author:Shany Kotler (Hebrew University)
Paper short abstract:
From its very beginning as a simple Facebook event, with the help of countless viral 'memes' as well as slogans that are still being used - the 'Tents Protest' of summer 2011 in Israel, brought the nation to the streets and the folk creativity to its peak.
Paper long abstract:
During July 2011 one of the main streets in Tel-Aviv was suddenly filled with hundreds of tents. It wasn't an urban planned camping, but the beginning of the most important social protest in Israel, that soon enough was known as 'The Tents-Protest'.
It all started with one student, who like many other Israelis struggled with the high rent, that posted an event on her Facebook page calling all those who struggle as she does to pick a tent and join her along Rothschild Boulevard, an event she never imagined would spread all around the country, bringing almost million people out on the streets.
Along with other conditions which were developing at that period, there is no doubt that social networks and the folk creativity they allow, made this naïve post into such an important social-cultural-economical event.
An illustrative example for this "folk-creativity" is the YouTube meme of "Hitler rants", one of the most known memes online; up until 2011, the Israeli example of this meme was very similar to the others around the world, in which Hitler "complained" about universal issues, but five days after the protest began, a new video (of Hitler gets angry about the high rent in Israel) was uploaded and shifted this meme into a tool through which Israelis criticize the social, economic and political reality around them, up until today.
My poster would demonstrate how the combination of the public sphere, folk creativity and technological innovation can create a new folk protest for the internet era.
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