The Lady in Red: Image Deconstruction and the Gezi Park Uprising

By Maria McLeod.

Published by The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: February 19, 2016 $US5.00

This paper includes a postmodern deconstruction and close reading of the primary iconic photograph of the 2013 Gezi Park uprising, the “lady in red,” featuring a female Turkish activist photographed by Reuters photographer Osman Orsal during the first days of the protests in Istanbul, Turkey. Issues relevant to the deconstruction of this image include photographic composition, media framing, digital social media distribution, traditional media distribution, artist/activist appropriation, re-envisioning, and redistribution of the resulting image, gender representation, and an exploration of the sociopolitical historical context in which this image was produced. Drawing upon a social-semiotic perspective, this paper examines conditions that fostered and intensified viral social media sharing throughout the occupation of Gezi Park and Taksim Square, which began in late May 2013, and during the crackdown by Turkish police and the nationwide protest that followed. It highlights the activists’ use of photos, video, graffiti, performance, and other forms of visual and linguistic signifiers to spread their message and frame their struggle, specifically focusing on the most iconic national and international symbol—the “lady in red.”

Keywords: New Media, Social Meaning, Representation

The International Journal of Communication and Linguistic Studies, Volume 14, Issue 2, June 2016, pp.1-14. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: February 19, 2016 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 605.893KB)).

Maria McLeod

Assistant Professor, Department of Journalism, Western Washington University, Bellingham, Washington, USA