IMAGES Journal for Visual Studies

projects: Visual Culture and New Media

The Political Right and Tactical Media

By Tomislav Medak & Nenad Romić

We are used to considering the tactical usage of the new media to lie in the domain of progressive social action. In the nineteen nineties, practices of networked self-organization, the global appellative public, virtual sit-ins, cultural jammings, the appropriation of marketing media strategies, etc., gave marginalized social groups the possibility of intervention in the highly-mediatized public sphere, dominated by global capitalism, parochial social pathologies and different forms of exclusion.

As a result, we see exclusion from the dominant mediatized political space or opposition to the dominant political discourse as the domain of emancipatory activity. However, the restoration of the Croatian post-Tuđman political space teaches us that the state of political exclusion and non-representation also touches the radical right-winged spectrum of society. The exclusion of radical right-winged positions – in Croatian society in the majority – from the dominant media discourse, forced this group to search for a space of articulation and organization in the very new media tactics which we once considered to be the exclusive domain of progressive social action.

We can distinguish between several social and economic-technological factors which steer individual social groups towards the tactical use of the media: a) the exclusion of the positions of a social group from the field of political representation, parliamentary-liberal institutions; b) the disparity between the dominating positions in society and the political structure, a certain clash between society and the political system; c) the availability and popularity of technological tools which facilitate self-organization. The recent wave of demonstrations in Croatia, though of different political signs, mediated through Facebook, just like the discussion forums at some earlier times, offer examples for the analysis of how the wide accessibility and starting popularity of a technological communication platform can bring the positions of state institutions / party politics and indignant social groups into conflict in the field of public mediation.

In this contribution, we will aim to track early examples of the phenomenon of tactical use of the new media on the political right and hypothesize the possible meaning of this transition in the context of today's "normalized", "de-Tuđmanized" Croatia, especially taking into account the rising penetration of Internet communication platforms and several popular forms of publication and meeting on the Internet.

Research Summaries

Marina Kožul / Mirna Belina
Animation Techniques as a New Medium

Mirela Ramljak Purgar
Digital Photography as a New Medium

Tomislav Medak / Nenad Romić
The Political Right and Tactical Media

Ivica Mitrović
Design and New Media - the Croatian Context

Katarina Peović Vuković
New Media Genres and Their Reception

Klaudio Štefančić
New Media, Old Culture Forms