Occupy pop culture: A lesson in détournement
by Natasha Lennard
March 8, 2012
Borrowing from the French, occupiers turn figures from the cultural mainstream into symbols of dissent
TV-show writers, pop culture purveyors and peddlers of general stuff-we-don”™t-need didn”™t take long to latch onto the Occupy brand. The language of the 99 percent is popping up in sitcoms and terrible pop songs; the word “Occupy” now adorns a neon green Swatch. It”™s probably beside the point to mention that revolutionaries in Egypt and Greece are fighting on without the help of branded watches; this is America, after all “” what did you expect?
But Occupy supporters are taking from pop culture too. Not in the obvious sense of message amplification and popularization, but by helping themselves to items from the cultural mainstream and flipping them on their heads for propaganda purposes. To see what I mean, check out this video attributed to “nycgeneralstrike”: