Batman, Pandaman and the Blind Man: A Case Study in Social Change Memes and Internet Censorship in China

  title={Batman, Pandaman and the Blind Man: A Case Study in Social Change Memes and Internet Censorship in China},
  author={An Xiao Mina},
  journal={Journal of Visual Culture},
  pages={359 - 375}
  • A. Mina
  • Published 1 December 2014
  • Education
  • Journal of Visual Culture
While the internet has been examined as a utilitarian space for social movements, it also acts as a cultural space for personal and community expression about important social issues. While examining the particularities of the memetic form – often catchy humor, simple imagery, and remixing – the author examines meme culture as a vehicle for political and social critique in the context of China’s stringent web censorship and propaganda. She looks at social change memes that have arisen around… 

Figures from this paper

The conquest of the world as meme: memetic visuality and political humor in critiques of the hindu right wing in India
With the rise of internet-based digital participatory cultures in India, social networks have become sites of volatile political discourse. As in other countries such as Brazil, China and Russia,
Turning a communist party leader into an internet meme: the political and apolitical aspects of China’s toad worship culture
  • Kecheng Fang
  • Sociology
    Information, Communication & Society
  • 2018
ABSTRACT A cultural phenomenon called ‘mo ha’ (toad worship) has been increasingly popular on the Chinese Internet since 2014, with ‘the toad’ referring to former Party and country leader Jiang
Memes as snapshots of participation: The role of digital amateur activists in authoritarian regimes
Internet memes can build groups of participation that engage in important but often silenced political conversations, this article contends and contributes to debates on memetic culture, entertainment media and the significance of amateur culture beyond the Anglophone world.
Memes as Games: A Procedural Rhetoric Perspective on the Critical Potential of Internet Memes
  • Education
media which spreads, often as mimicry, from person to person via the Internet”. While originally internet memes were playful phenomena with the seemingly sole purpose of mutual entertainment, more
Beyond the "lulz" : audience engagement with political memes in the case of Indonesia
This thesis explores the roles of Internet memes as a form of contemporary political discourse in Indonesia from the individual perspective of audience members. In-depth qualitative interviews with
Caveat emptor: boycott through digital humour on the wave of the 2019 Hong Kong protests
ABSTRACT This paper addresses the topic of social media users’ polyvocal political activism facilitated by participatory culture and expressed through multimodal digital humour (including humorous
From public sphere to magic circle: playful publics on the Chinese internet
Abstract This paper reassesses comparisons of online Chinese networks to the Habermasian public sphere through a dialogue between sinology and ludology. Play has long been considered an integral
‘Neo-Nazis Have Stolen Our Memes’: Making Sense of Extreme Memes
In addition to using new modes of communication made possible by the internet, extreme political groups are also adopting innovative styles common to internet culture. Internet memes are texts that
Memes as games: The evolution of a digital discourse online
It is argued that meme selection and mutation are driven by a cooperative combination of three types of communication logic: wasteful play online, social media political expression, and cultural evolution.
A Confucian Look at Internet Censorship in China
It is examined how the complex, nuanced attitudes toward censorship resonate with the classic teachings of Confucianism, China’s traditional philosophical and ethical system.


Talking to Strangers: Chinese Youth and Social Media
Author(s): Wang, Tricia | Abstract: A new form of sociality is developing among Chinese youth: an Elastic Self. Changes in social media's capacity to mediate information and interaction is creating
Cute Cats to the Rescue? Participatory Media and Political Expression
Participatory media technologies like weblogs and Facebook provide a new space for political discourse, which leads some governments to seek
From Steamed Bun to Grass Mud Horse: E Gao as alternative political discourse on the Chinese Internet
This article examines e gao (online spoofs) as a popular form of political expression which has recently emerged on the Chinese internet. I first introduce a cultural approach to internet-mediated
Symbolic power and the internet: The power of a ‘horse’
It is shown that it is not easy to materialize the potential of symbolic power on the internet, and what the internet makes easy is to produce follow-up discourse once a powerful symbol has appeared.
The Political Hierarchy of Censorship: An Analysis of Keyword Blocking of CCP Officials’ Names on Sina Weibo Before and After the 2012 National Congress (S)election
As King, Pan, and Roberts write in their 2013 study on Chinese social media; research into the dynamics of internet censorship in China, “exposes an extraordinarily rich source of information about
Power regimes are dictated by constraints such as battery life, heat emission and environmental issues. I would like to add a new one, rarely considered, but increasingly important: "Human Power".
China’s jasmine revolution: Police but no protesters line streets
  • 2011
Parody and resistance on the Chinese Internet
China's Long Revolution