Visual representation of the student mobilization in Chile: the photographs of marches as spaces of narrative, action and political identification

Camila Cárdenas, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, España


Camila Cárdenas, 2014: "Representación visual de la movilización estudiantil en
Chile: las fotografías de las marchas como espacios de narración, actuación e identificación política", Onomázein Número Especial IX ALSFAL, 115-137.
DOI: 10.7764/onomazein.alsfal.11

This paper explores the visual representation of student’s protests raised in Chile during 2011. The purpose is to describe the actors and symbolized group identities, as well as the social actions and the ways in which these specific actions are legitimized or delegitimized in the interaction. The corpus is a photographic book entitled Marchas (Marches) (Yutronic & Ortiz, 2012), which is analyzed from a theoretical and methodological framework that considers input from Critical Discourse Studies and Social Semiotics. The paper claims that the photographs of marches are able to organize narrative meanings which structure opposite forms of performance and political identification, excluding other critical participants in the educational conflict, such as political and economic elites. Thus, it is constructed a type of confrontation between young people and police, which simplifies the ideological struggle and reinforces stereotypes about groups whose action, being subject to constant media coverage, is, therefore, cognitively enhanced. The paper concludes that the narration inquired is an option of representation that emphasizes the historical character of the students’ protest, providing in this way a space that makes visible the postdictatorial action of youth.