Afropunk’s digital imagined community on Instagram or the politics of disidentification and of sensing the Brown commons | Intellect Skip to content
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Textures of Diaspora and (Post-)Digitality: A Cultural Studies Approach
  • ISSN: 2632-5853
  • E-ISSN: 2632-5861

Abstract

This article revolves around the old question of whether politics and punk can or should be seen in terms of aesthetic by analysing Afropunk’s transnational digital imagined community, more specifically, its Instagram page. Afropunk is a fluid term that embraces everyone in a wide spectrum of Blackness feeling addressed by the defining phrase ‘the other Black experience’ and therefore considering themselves non-normative in any axis of discrimination in respect to ‘Black’ and ‘White’ (hetero)normativity. Instagram as a popular social-media platform is characterized by a focus on highly aestheticized images. Drawing on an understanding of media as practice, my article discusses Afropunk’s political use of aesthetics on Instagram in light of José Esteban Muñoz’s theories. Adopting a cultural studies’ approach that offers a conceptual meta-reflection on Afropunk’s Instagram use based on exemplary entries of 2020 and 2021, it argues that, for this distinctive community within the afro-diaspora, aesthetic works as a mode of articulating the politics of ‘disidentification’ (Muñoz 1999) and of sensing the ‘Brown commons’ (Muñoz 2009) that open up alternative ways of both facing the majoritarian society and enacting community beyond identitarian paradigms.

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2022-06-01
2024-02-22
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Keyword(s): aesthetic; affect; Black; José E. Muñoz; politics; social media; visual
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