Article Feature: Shoe Throwing as Political Protest

From the latest Media, War & Conflict ( August 2009; Vol. 2, No. 2).

The art of shoe-throwing: shoes as a symbol of protest and popular imagination

Yasmin Ibrahim

University of Brighton, UK, y.ibrahim@brighton.ac.uk

The art of shoe-throwing has captured popular imagination andis here to stay as a form of popular political protest. In arecent incident, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao became a near-victimof a notorious flying shoe during his visit to London in February2009. Shoe-throwing has become a celebrated art form ever sincean Iraqi journalist threw his shoes at then US President GeorgeW. Bush, eternally sealing Bush’s last presidential momentswith the iconic image of the shoe. Popular acts of communicationand protests enter new forms of relationships with audiencesand global spectators beyond the political context and the shoe-throwingincident is no exception. It has been consummately appropriatedinto popular culture and entertainment in the multimedia platformsof the internet, transforming political images and politicalprotests into voyeuristic entertainment for the masses.

 

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