Refugees, Communication technology, Mobile connectivity.
Track chair Hassan Choubassi (International University of Beirut), Joe Elias (International University of Beirut)
The implication of media augmentation within the context of the Arab revolutions, how the image of media augmentation continues to amass the dreads and worries of the modernist when concerned with industrial technologies of production? It exemplifies yet another burden on the masses in the economy, consumption, and psychological manipulation, in dumbing down and in political oppression, until its explosion physically and violently in the Arab world in what is called the “Arab Spring”.
Papers under this topic would deal with the explosion of the Arab revolutions, the situation of the Arab masses before and after digital media and new technology mechanisms, the situation of refugees in the host countries of the surrounding areas. How they lived a status of oppression and frustration under harsh political oppression of dictatorships and how this situation rendered the virtual realm of the new media of social networks a fertile ground of freedom that was not possible in the actual. The virtual was an incubation period of freedom of speech and an implosion of desires until people found a way out with the advent of the new technology of smartphones, it was possible for them to maintain the link of virtual connection but at the same time they were free to move around in actual reality, this is the explosion of the political in the street.
Media augmentation contributed in the act of revolution when it allowed for connectivity among activist while they are mobile in the street demonstrating and it served as the sole reporter of the event directly and continuously from the hot spots of action. This revolution is the explosion of the political in the street of the actual after being trapped in the realm of virtuality for so many years.