Political theory and practice in the age of fake news (panel)

18 September

When it comes to media and communications, contemporary western societies experience an increasing sense of discontent. The alt-right is gaining grounds in digital platforms, leading to the emergence of mainstreamised fascist discourse in countries such as the USA. Fake news have been instrumental in the emergence of these new political forces, and have been weaponised alongside the production of extreme racist and homophobic discourse that goes beyond the typical conventions of media communications taking the form of alternative media such as memes, online forum posts, anonymous blogs etc. At the same time the left and social movements try to understand this new reality and to fight in their own terms, often failing to either grasp or properly address the problem. On top of that, it is often implied that leftwing deconstruction allowed for the rise of alt right as such.

In this panel there will be a discussion on the aforementioned tensions in an attempt to investigate the complex network of relations and contradictions that define such phenomena. But besides offering an analytical framework, the panel also aspires to initiate a dialogue about how to counteract, resist and offer antagonistic narratives and political movements against post-truth regimes and their fascist proponents. But what is the best way to respond when all ‘coherent’ arguments seem to fail miserably? Shall we fortify our traditional means of resistence or can we build new counter-paradigms? Can we think outside of humanist and modernist contexts and could approaches such as the Zizekian overidentification –where one identifies with ‘evil’ in order to process its internal contradictions and eventually expose it’s bananlity– offer creative ways to deal with this mess?

Panelists:

Sissy Alonistiotou has studied polical sciences at the University of Athens. She works as a journalist since 1988 in publications such as Tachydromos, editor-in-chief at “Kyriakatiki Eleftherotypia” and editor of content at “Epsilon” magazine. In 2012 she started working on the filed of news & media literacy creating the web community 'Journalists about Journalism' (jaj.gr) and in 2016 she initiated the Media Literacy Institute alongside Katerina Chrysanthopoulou. Since 2014, she has been writing for “Kathimerini” .

 

Themistoklis Pantazakos is doctorate researcher with an Onassis foundation scholarship in UCL, London. His work focuses on the relationship between truth, science and the political. His articles are published in journals and popular websites such as luben.tv, skra punk and others.

 

Stamatis Poulakidakos teaches at the Media Lab of the department of communications and media in University of Athens, where he completed his PhD dissertation. His studied include a master’s in Neww Media, Information and Society from the London School of Economics, and his research interests include the data collection and analysis of journalistic content and the quantitative analysis of this data.

 

Elena Psillakou is a PhD researcher in social theory and sociology at the University of Athens. She is a member of the research network for the analysis of political discourse and of the international network DiscourseNet. Her research focuses on critical methodologies of discourse analysis in media studies, contemporary politics, film and literature. She has worked as a journalist and translator.

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