From the Borders of Invisibility in Youtube Wasteland
by Madalena Miranda
This video was uploaded in Youtube the 31st January 2011
It is called “Egyptian Protest- 30 January 2011 Tahrir Square”. It was published under the category of people and blogs.
The description says:
“Judgement and trial for the gang ruling Egyptian!”
“OUT OUT OUT OUT! GET OUT!”
It had 525 visualizations.
I saw it, again and again.
I saw it in slow motion, losing its sound.
I filmed my own fragment, encompassing their movements, although my distance.
I uploaded my film on my Youtube account,
I edited in Youtube Creator Studio, and uploaded it.
Today this gesture is no longer possible.
No more Youtube Creator Studio edition,
no more Creators Community no longer exists
No more notes on your videos.
Just advertising cards
to promote your channel.
The only rift left is the subtitles mode.
So I use it.
The borders of invisibility are thin but thick.
People, different people, women, men move collectively through themselves and the camera to insurge all of us.
Cell phones encapsulate History, but does it last?
Youtube vacant lots sustain the ghosts of these movements. But until will it last?
Can the visual fireflies
resist the ideology of the software?
Can we recover their images?
To these migrant images
The screen is the last border.
The survival of the visual fireflies, as Georges Didi-Huberman proposes that we look for (“Survivance des Lucioles”, 2009), is a matter of rescuing the visual fragments from the borders of invisibility, and consequently, a matter of the appearance of peoples, instead of Pasolini’s text on their disappearance. Nowadays, these digital images that in ghostly fashion inhabit the vacant lot of youtube.com, the visual continent of Google, are the lost witnesses of the potent moments of insurrection in 2011. From the “Arab Springs” to the Occupy movements, but also in Spain and Portugal, many came to the streets and filmed these powerful moments of hope, shared them, trying to cross through the horizon with these political gestures and addressing the whole of the new free space, the web. But the software ideology and the reification of the algorithm of digital capitalism moved forward to commodify our creativity in a paradoxical meta-content platform like Youtube. It is discontinued, as a video editor, as a cross writing remix board, between images and texts.
I take the concept of visual fireflies as part of my ongoing doctoral research on Digital Media, exploring the possibilities of these lost youtube protest videos as video and sound patches, where re-montage coups come to form a shape.
Madalena Miranda is a filmmaker, lives and works in Lisbon.
She graduated in Communication, MA in Anthropology.
Currently doing her PhD in Digital Media at UNL-FCSH | UT Austin CoLab. She has directed mostly documentary. Her films were awarded and screened in various places, Les Screens Documentaries, IndieLisboa, DocLisboa, Austin or Oberhausen Film Festival.