Making a Political Statement

Making a Political Statement

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This Make was created by Karen Fasimpaur, Terry Elliott and Joe Dillon

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A Google image search on terms like “political memes” or “election memes” provides a reading experience markedly different than opening the morning paper. This instant, biased collage of pictures is the most complex of digital footprints, still new to even the most web literate among us. Political memes show participatory culture’s take on political news and the evolving process of electing a president.

According to Merriam Webster, a “meme” is “an idea, behavior, style, or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture” Often these are images or videos that are overlayed with interpretive text and are spread through social media in hopes of “going viral.”

Here are some tools for making memes and more resources on the topic:

So go make a political statement — about the elections or something else, as a meme or some other format! And post your results here as examples or in the CLMOOC G+ community.


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2 Examples Completed for this Make

  1. Funniest Political Memes of 2015
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    This article on Rant Political shows several examples of political memes from this election cycle.

  2. A reader’s guide to the people who became memes
       submitted by Washington Post

    One of the weirder things that can happen to someone is to become the basis of a meme. A photograph of that person is taken out of context, remade and repurposed into something else, and a novel’s worth of captions rewrite who that person is, and what he or she is like. This article gives examples of people who "became" memes.

4 Tutorials Created for this Make

  1. "Make a presidential election meme" on Youth Voices
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    This is a mission on Youth Voices for making a presidential election meme. "Create a meme that expresses an opinion about the presidential election. Write a few words about the purpose and intent of your meme."

  2. Binders Full of Election Memes: Participatory Culture invades the 2012 U.S. Election
       submitted by Civic Media Project

    Participatory culture handed the 2012 U.S. presidential election season a bumper crop of political memes. These “election memes,” largely in the form of image macros, took sound bites from the candidates’ debates and speeches and turned them into “digital content units” of political satire “circulated, imitated, and/or transformed via the Internet by many users,” to paraphrase Limor Schifman’s definition of “internet meme” (2013, 177). Image macros like the lolcat, feature bold text on top of an image, often a “stock character,” and like all Internet memes are “multi-participant creative expressions through which cultural and political identities are communicated and negotiated”… Read more »

  3. Politicians Laughing Meme Generator
       submitted by Karen Fasimpaur

    A great image for getting started with making political memes (in imgflip — super easy to use and remix)

  4. Why Would You Ever Create an Internet Meme?
       submitted by Civic Media Project

    Memes are viral curiosities that spread through hyperlinks and email. They are modern cultural artifacts that become famous through 'social infection'. These meme curiosities are usually absurd humor photos and curios videos, but memes can also have deep political and cultural undertones. If you find memes interesting, then definitely consider starting one yourself. Here are several reasons why it could be worth your time to create a meme and prepare it go viral…

Creative Commons License
This work by Karen Fasimpaur, Terry Elliott and Joe Dillon is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.