Defined by Peter Snowdon, vernacular videos belong to the multiple series of gestures and actions through which individuals gather, both online and offline, to enact the people as the possible subject of another history. Looking at Tunisian case, although the revolutionary process is still ongoing, the invisibility into which vernacular videos have turned, due both to changed algorithmic settings of YouTube and Facebook and the decrease of urgency in the sensitive reality, makes you reflect on what comes next. What is the heritage of vernacular videos in terms of visual practices?
I take the YouTube channel “AnarChnowa”, initiated by the namesake Tunisian cyberactivist, as a case study. Launched in 2016, the video-episodes are based on the montage of clips from the past and the present, collected from a variety of different media sources, by means of mental associations, formal or essential clashes or similarities, with a sarcastic aim. Specifically conceived for YouTube, a platform mainly used for entertainment purpose in Tunisia, but taking advantage of the lack of copyright rules of Facebook, “AnarChnowa” puts on display social and political urgent topics in post-January 14th, 2011 Tunisian context.
Marianna Liosi is an independent curator and researcher based in Berlin. She graduated in Visual Arts at IUAV, Venice and she’s currently a PhD candidate in Humanities, University of Ferrara (Italy). In her research she explores the aesthetics of social, economic and political dynamics, with specific attention to media, technology and the question of spectatorship and its generative role. She held a seminar in Creative Writing and Storytelling at the University of Potsdam (2018), she was Guest lecturer at Kunstakademie Düsseldorf (2016/17) and she has lectured at Fine Arts Academy, Leipzig, Fondation Maison des sciences de l’homme (Paris), Fine Arts Academy in Bergamo, University of Geneva, HKW (Berlin). She has curated exhibitions, film programmes, and workshops, among the most recent: “Between Broadcast-Workshop” (ongoing-2016); “Tentative Matters”, D21 Kunstraum, Leipzig, 2017; “Between Broadcast-a project around activist videos”, in collaboration with Between Bridges, Berlin, 2016; “Regarding Spectatorship: Revolt and Distant Observer”, in collaboration with Boaz Levin, Kunstraum Kreuzberg/Bethanien, Berlin, 2015; “Leisure Complex”, Savvy Contemporary, Berlin, 2014.