The Stubborn Voice


{The stubborn voice – the one that blogs.  –Riverbend, Baghdad Burning, 2005}content

“A newsflash shows a woman, beaten by police during mass protests, then the image fades out, leaving us with scenes of violence, gender, and democratic transition. But are we missing pieces?” Yes.

Performing Democracy explores the way mainstream media leaves out important pieces of the story and digs into alternative storytelling methods to find a diversity of stubborn voices. What we are missing from this newsflash is the woman’s story.  Why is she there?  What injustices have personally impacted her and driven her to join protests?  To me, she is the stubborn voice brought to life in a desperate attempt to make that voice heard.

Performing Democracy claims that any form of protest whether blogging, participating in mass street protests, or posting a photo online wrapped in your country’s flag, is automatically a political voicing of past injustice…the stub201132711325731738_20born voice brought to life.  The way I see it, blogger Riverbend and the beaten woman participating in protests are not so different.  They both use forms of protest to communicate their hope or demand for something better than what they’ve experienced. Better than what they know.

What I find so valuable about this book and the case studies presenting new stories and perspectives is that we are slowly reshaping our view of the world, of the Middle East, and of politics and protest.

Listening to more voices allows us to break down the single story presented in the media and to truly understand the trauma, loss, and resistance of people who desperately want more. Not violent, hate-filled people but desperate hope-filled people using their stubborn voice and saying “enough.”


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