You can't have the struggle without the ugly fringe - Publicness in Australian National Imagination: Media representations of the Muslim demonstrations in Sydney in 2012

Tejaswini Patil-Vishwanath

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Demonstrations in Sydney in September 2012 against the YouTube film Innocence of Muslims turned violent and caused huge community outcry. Many politicians and the mainstream media argued that the actions of the protesters were abhorrent and un-Australian. Some argued it was less about Muslims raising concern about an anti-Islamic film and more about them asserting their claim to what Michael Warner calls the counterpublic - discourses that occur outside of the mainstream media. I analyse the underlining discourses in the letters to the editor and opinion pieces in the print and online media, by using Warner's theory of publicness. The article shows that the dominant public discourse concentrated on characterizing Muslims as extremists and fundamentalists. Counterpublic discourses, however, challenged these dominant constructions, and argued that the tactic of dismissing the rioters is a way of denying political agency and by extension the very presence of a counterpublic.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)57-69
    Number of pages13
    JournalContinuum - Journal of Media and Cultural Studies
    Volume29
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2015

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