UNIVERSITY OF THESSALY - DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY ARCHAEOLOGY AND SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY
On 18 November 2011, Lieutenant John Pike of the University of California, Davis, police was infamously filmed and photographed in the act of calmly, methodically pepper-spraying a group of nonviolent student protestors affiliated with the “Occupy” political movement. Within 24 hours, images and narratives of the incident went viral online. Within 48 hours, humorous Photoshopped images depicting Lt. Pike pepper-spraying a variety of new, unsuspecting “victims” abounded. This presentation will examine and contextualize these images as a distinct expressive form and outlet in the incident’s highly emotional aftermath while also highlighting the emerging role of digital technology in contemporary folk protests.