Performing Democracy: Questions 3 & 7

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  1. What does it mean to protest through literature or with cultural forms? How are these forms of performing democracy?

Protesting through literature and cultural forms allow the oppressed to respond to the oppressor. Stories of personal atrocities brought about through the actions of oppressors allow us to hear from those who are not represented or heard because of their place in society. When we are forced to confront the harsh realities other’s face it broadens our views on not only situations, but also on life. Protest through literature and cultural forms create empathy, and develop a connection among people; both oppressed and oppressors. This opening of dialogue helps the underrepresented to finally get representation, and this is the basis of democracy.

 

  1. What are the images after 9/11?

After 9/11 a vast majority of the images spread by the media were filtered or manipulative in nature. They perpetuated a one size fits all view of the Middle East that is bigoted and ignorant in nature. Unfortunately the American public took this as truth. We can most clearly see biases through the images of women. Middle Eastern women were shown as victims of mass sexual violence and oppression. While this may be true in some locations it is an inaccurate portrayal of Middle Eastern and Islamic women in general. Many Middle Eastern women were educated and protesting the occupation of their homeland, but the media did not show these truths. The withholding of information from the public manipulated the American public’s view of the Middle East, and created more conflict.

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