Social Media as a Source of Counter-Hegemonic Discourses: Micro-Level Analysis of the Belarusian "Silent Actions" Protest Movement
- Demokratizatsiya: The Journal of Post-Soviet Democratization
- Institute for European, Russian, and Eurasian Studies, The George Washington University
- Volume 27, Number 3, Summer 2019
- pp. 287-317
- Additional Information
The events of the so-called "Ploshcha" [Square] in 2006, when youth activists pitched a tent camp in the center of Minsk to protest against election fraud, caused some social theorists to predict the revival of civic protest in Belarus. Those assumptions, however, proved to be wrong: rather, a slow decay in both the number and the intensity of protest actions took place. Yet in the past eight years, activists have begun using new techniques for organizing protests, as well as inventing new slogans and proposing creative ideas. This article reflects on the emergence of new discursive practices and the ways in which they reinterpret key concepts such as the focus on "street struggle." In particular, the article analyses emerging forms of collective protests, such as the so-called "Silent Actions," through the lens of Laclau and Mouffe's discourse theory and compares the discourse of the Silent Actions with the established counter-hegemonic discourse.