Utilizing icons and myths from popular culture in communication

Highly interesting piece from Henry Jenkins on the mobilization of  icons and myths from popular culture as resources for, in this case, political speech. In jenkins example he refers to Five Palestinian, Israeli and International Activists who painted themselves blue to resemble the Nav’I from James Cameron’s science fiction blockbuster, Avatar, and marched through the occupied village of Bil’n, while yelling proclamations from the film, like “We will show the Sky People that they can not take whatever they want! This, this is our land!”.

Using popular references can be a  highly effective approach, because it strikes a cord with the audience, who suddenly have more than one reference to draw upon, which makes it easier to not only communicate but seed your message with the audience. In a sense, you manage to transfer the emotions and sentiments from a piece of popular culture to another arena, which makes it easier to understand and digest for the audience. It use to be popular culture lending from “real life” mythology and icons, but in reverse it can also be highly effective.



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