Anti-Austerity Social Movement Repertoires of Communication: A Diachronic Analysis of Protest Media Legacies in Southern Europe

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 16:30
Location: Hörsaal 26 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Emiliano TRERE, Communication and Journalism, Autonomous University of Queretaro, Queretaro, Mexico, Lakehead University, Canada
Sandra JEPPESEN, Lakehead University, Canada
Alice MATTONI, European University Institute, Italy
Various studies have addressed the recent wave of contention of anti-austerity movements in Europe, exploring the role that media technologies have played within them (della Porta and Mattoni 2014), as well as examining the journalistic coverage of the euro crisis in the media (Picard, 2015). Few studies, however, have connected the repertoires of communication of today’s anti-austerity movements with the past protest communication ecologies that shaped the ways they use and appropriate communication technologies. This article is based on the findings of an empirical study that investigates the media ecologies that developed in anti-austerity protests in Italy, Greece, and Spain. Drawing on 60 semi-structured interviews (20 for each country involved) with activists, media professionals and independent media producers involved in anti-austerity protests since 2008, this paper adopts a systematic comparative perspective that is able to cast a nuanced light on the similarities and differences in the evolution of the media ecologies of southern European resistance. By digging into activists’ memories of past protests, our findings trace the trajectories of protest media ecologies and communication repertoires from the Global Justice Movement onwards, allowing us to critically reflect on the challenges and achievements of two decades of communicative activism in Southern Europe. Our outcomes also emphasize the discrepancies in the formation of repertoires of communication in the three countries examined, where specific historical developments have shaped them in distinctive ways. Beyond unifying labels related to anti-austerity protests, our study stresses the need to situate the study of these protest communication ecologies diachronically within particular social, cultural, and economic realities.