Music videos as protest communication: the Gezi Park protest on YouTube

Olu Jensen, Itir Erhart, Hande Eslen-Ziya, Derya Güçdemir, Umut Korkut, Aidan McGarry

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter explores the relevance of the protest song as political communication in the internet era. Focusing on the prolific and diverse YouTube music video output of the Gezi Park protest of 2013, we explore how digital technologies and social media offer new opportunities for protest music to be produced and reach new audiences. We argue that the affordances of digital media and internet platforms such as YouTube play a crucial part in the production, distribution and consumption of protest music. In the music videos, collected from Twitter, activists use a range of aesthetic and rhetorical tools such as various mashup techniques to challenge mainstream media reporting on the protest, communicate solidarity and express resistance to dominant political discourse. By doing so, they give new meaning to both images and music, and contribute to a reorientation of protest to include online audiovisual outputs by individual producers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Aesthetics of Global Protest: Visual Culture and Communication
PublisherAmsterdam University Press
ISBN (Print)9789463724913
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • protest
  • protest music
  • Gezi Park
  • social media


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