In this Refinery 29 podcast, host Elisa Kreisinger speaks with An Xiao Mina about how internet memes and social movements are intertwined in China.
Topics cover include:
- How the #MeToo movement tripped up trying to cross the Great Firewall only to emerge as a series of cute homonymic emojis: 🍚🐰 (rice bunny)
- How An’s career in meme research began at artist Ai Weiwei’s studio in 2011 after his arrest as folks tried to express solidarity online without alerting censors
- The power of humor to defang those in power but also how the infamous grass mud horse meme was co-opted and defanged by the authorities and their allies in China by transforming into a cute and harmless animal mascot
- How social credit deductions is a much more effective albeit indirect way of stemming the proliferation of political memes
Listen to the full interview here.