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How to be visible in student politics : performativity and the digital public space in Bangladesh

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

In Bangladeshi student politics, political performances in public spaces play an essential role in establishing patronage relationships and determining local authority structures. As Thomas Blom Hansen has famously argued, "visibility means everything" in such a context. With the emergence of social networking sites like Facebook, new digital public spaces have appeared. Focusing on ruling-party student activists at Rajshahi University, this article examines how student politicians in Bangladesh utilize Facebook to become visible in their everyday politicking. It shows how longstanding performative repertoires in the nondigital public space have gained a new salience through performances in the digital public space. It is those digital spaces that allow the performer to rearticulate even mundane everyday events as political performances. As these new digital public spaces impact the politics of visibility, it is crucial to integrate them in our efforts to understand local politics in South Asia and beyond.
Tijdschrift: JOURNAL OF ASIAN STUDIES
ISSN: 1752-0401
Issue: 3
Volume: 79
Pagina's: 707 - 738
Jaar van publicatie:2020