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Grendizer leaves for Sweden: Japanese anime nostalgia on Syrian social media

Al-Ghazzi, Omar ORCID: 0000-0001-9905-409X (2018) Grendizer leaves for Sweden: Japanese anime nostalgia on Syrian social media. Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication, 11 (1). pp. 52-71. ISSN 1873-9857

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Identification Number: 10.1163/18739865-01101004


Exploring the post-March 2011 Syrian online sphere, this article focuses on nostalgic videos and memes that take inspiration from Arabic-dubbed Japanese anime series, which were broadcast on national Arab TVs in the 1980s. As part of a dissident social media culture, amateur videos that redubbed and edited childhood cartoons have appeared on YouTube since 2011— tackling themes of revolution, war, and exile. These videos defied and mocked the Syrian Al-Assad regime, as well as the Islamic State group. A result of empowering media practices, the videos projected political meaning on childhood cartoons, which have been associated with a generational identity shared by now-adult Syrians. Highlighting an understudied aspect of media globalization— the influence of Japanese anime on Arab popular culture— the article examines a diverse body of social media clips and memes that recycle Japanese anime. I analyze their Syrian re-appropriation by offering a typology of nostalgic online practices within contexts of war and uprising. These can be summed up in three categories of nostalgic mediation: nostalgic defiance, as expressed in calls for political action; nostalgic mockery, as reflected in subversive nostalgic humor targeting authority; and nostalgic anguish, in reaction to the trauma of war and exile, such as in relation to the Syrian refugee crisis.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 Koninklijke Brill NV
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
J Political Science > JA Political science (General)
Date Deposited: 22 Sep 2017 14:47
Last Modified: 14 Jun 2024 22:36

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