Mourning on Facebook

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

This paper questions why we behave the way we do on Facebook when it comes to mourning and associated memorialization. It addresses the everyday use of photography that takes place specifically on Facebook around the cultural and familial mourning practices that have been greatly expanded as a result of the reach across time and space that the Platform provides, and the blurring of private and public that follows. The paper aims to critically analyse this phenomenon using the tech literature (Facebook is of course ‘evil’), recent scholarship around Platform Capitalism, some literature of psychoanalysis (the essential problem of the human deriving worth symbolically able to in any way live in ‘reality’— exacerbated by the performative quality of our expressions in the social media-scape), and recent photographic theory on the networked image. This ‘expansion of contemporary visualities’ is not necessarily derived directly from new technologies of imaging but rather in how we use and re-create the images that we are able to have and share, and the Platform that spurs us to do it. If both humans and nations can be driven by unconscious motives, what’s happening with Facebook? And what do we get for our performance (our content creation) within it? Solace? Or something more sinister?

How can this kind of content, with its many built in, algorithm mandated twists and turns, be interpreted? And what does it mean—this way of being human experienced through screens in a simultaneous present?

Conference

Conference6th International Conference of Photography & Theory
Abbreviated titleICPT2022
Country/TerritoryCyprus
CityNicosia
Period17/11/2219/11/22
Internet address

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