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Memetic Tropes on #CharlieHedbo on Instagram

I manually archive the artwork and memes published on the #CharlieHedbo hashtag on Instagram over three hours (8 January 15, 1700-2000hrs, GMT+8) and code the memetic tropes of populism.

While much of this artwork appeared to be variations of sentiment published by the more high profile cartoonists around the world (see here and here), others were organic productions of creativity in which different symbols seemed to be competing to gain traction as the primary tropes of signification for the event. What emerges is a collective imagery that has now formed the online vernacular for the #CharlieHedbo incident.

As with popular imagery of other social movements mediated online, authorship and origins aren’t always clear, and proper attribution is seldom practiced, especially when emblems are circulating into virality within a very short period of time.


For instance, the ‘Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow’ pencil art piece that was wrongly attributed to Banksy (and cross-posted on an unverified @banksy Instagram account) and widely circulated on the web was later clarified to be produced by French Illustrator @LucilleClerc.

A spokesperson for Banksy has since clarified that the Instagram account is a fake and that the art piece was not produced by the infamous street artist. Still, several other variations of this symbolism have been produced and circulated on Instagram in the last 24 hours:

The rest of this post archives some popular memetic tropes on the #CharlieHedbo hashtag on Instagram.

Note: Image Heavy.
Sequel to this post here: #JeSuisAhmed speaks back to #JeSuisCharlie on Instagram
See also my earlier archive of #OccupyCentral memes here and here.

(1) Eiffel Tower 

(2) Twin Towers

(3) French flag

(4) Liberty Leading the People

(5) Other notable Charlies in popular culture

(6) Black ribbon

(7) Crucifix imagery

(8) The four cartoonists

(9) Je Suis Charlie Typography

(10) Bleeding stationery, blood as ink

(11) Cartoons

(12) Pencil as candle light vigil

(13) Pencils in cigarette box

(14) Hand clutching pencil

(15) Pencil as/with middle finger

(16) Pencil-weapon imagery (i.e. rifles. guns, armour)

(17) Pencil-criminal imagery

(18) Pencil art 

Have any other popular #CharlieHedbo memes and tropes stood out to you? Let’s chat! Beep me!

See also:
(1) Sequel to this post here: #JeSuisAhmed speaks back to #JeSuisCharlie on Instagram
(2) The Anatomy of a Social Media(ted) Protest: #OccupyCentral on Instagram
(3) Semiotica Dramatica and a Resistance Ecology On Site: #OccupyCentral at Causeway Bay and Admiralty 

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