Through the lens of the justice for Gorge Floyd protests, my dissertation offers a critique, consultation, creation, and contribution to the visual imagery emerging from the digital activism of social movements. Built upon a foundation of counterpublics, critical race counterstory, counternarratives, the Black public sphere, rhetorical-cultural narrative, rhetorical-cultural memory, visual social semiotics, hashtag activism, and media framing and schemas, I engage in a rhetorical-semiotic-technocultural analysis of the justice for George Floyd protests, as a social movement. I position myself as a visual specialist artist, activist, academic, and advisor for social movements engaged in social justice and social change. I argue that culture, as moderator, traversed the rhetorical-semiotic-technocultural messaging of the visual imagery emerging from the digital imagery of the justice for George Floyd social movement which motivated global citizens to take to the streets to demand social justice and social change. Drawing upon the justice for George Floyd movement, I offer artists, activists, and academics ten activist strategic propositions for the preservation of the cultural narrative, memory, and history of social movements which may utilize visuality to withstand social movement backlash.
Christopher Odom has long been drawn to the significance of visual stories. Their power to influence people and enact social change through digital mediums captivated him and led him to pursue a PhD in Texts and Technology here at UCF. He believes that digital stories may hold the key to making a difference in our society and raising awareness about issues that might otherwise be ignored. “What someone feels through the power of imagery and story might inspire them, over time, to change the world,” he says.
The Narrative of the Image 📱 ACM Hypertext and Social Media 2020 – This poster paper explores semiotics and rhetoric as narrative in social media visual culture, specifically with issues of identity and social change on social media platforms such as YouTube. Under the umbrella of semiotics, postmodernism, and poststructuralism, the paper builds upon the work of Roland Barthes, Stuart Hall, and Safiya Umoja Noble by expanding the concepts of visual semiotics, visual rhetoric, postcolonialism, critical race theory, and algorithms to examine the narrative of the image.