From Cape Town to Timbuktu. Iconoclastic Testimonies in the Age of Social Media
Wendl, Tobias – 2018
The chapter presents three case studies of recent political and religious iconoclasm in South Africa and Mali (the #RhodesMustFall campaign, the vandalizing of Brett Murray’s painting “The Spear” and the jihadist mass destruction of Sufi shrines and mausoleums in Timbuktu). It argues that the destruction of images simultaneously unmasks and enhances the power of images and that the act of destruction itself provides a testimony to antecedent conflict. Particular emphasis is given to the analysis of subsequent secondary image testimonies and re-enactments in which afterimages of the iconoclastic defacement and annihilation have emerged and were widely shared, which is not only due to the immediacy promise of the social media, but their potential to communicate a multiplicity of voices and viewpoints.