Nonviolent Images and the Egyptian Revolution: Implications for the International Response and Egyptian Human Rights

By Kody M. Gerkin.

Published by The International Journal of the Image

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper seeks to examine how the use of digital images within the Egyptian revolution can inform our understanding of shared images and their political power. While there have been investigations into the impact of nonviolent theory and practice within the Egyptian revolution, little scholarly research has investigated nonviolent images or their impact. We’ll analyze nine photos, eight of them from the Egyptian revolution, and investigate how they impacted the creation of a user-generated revolutionary narrative. The prevalence of shared images depicting nonviolent Egyptian protestors helped craft a revolutionary narrative and subsequently influenced international political responses to the Egyptian revolution. Using the Egyptian revolution as a case-study, the potential for nonviolent images to impact media narratives and political events becomes elucidated. The implications of this research could impact post-revolution Egypt and future revolutionary movements in their identification and use of nonviolent images.

Keywords: Nonviolence, Revolution, Egypt

The International Journal of the Image, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.33-50. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 4.445MB).

Kody M. Gerkin

Consultant, Doha, Qatar

Kody M. Gerkin graduated with a BA in Political Science from the James Madison School for Public Policy at Michigan State University and subsequently earned an MA in International Human Rights from the Josef Korbel Graduate School for International Studies at the University of Denver. He has written extensively on nonviolence and cultural interpretations of human rights, including a thesis on nonviolent sentiments as expressed in the political art of Bob Dylan. Kody has served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Guatemala and has been living with his wife in Doha, Qatar since 2010.