The political potential of affective collectivity – exploring Danish fat activism on Instagram

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskning


This paper deals with the Danish digital feminist ‘fatosphere’ (Pausé 2015, Lupton 2018, p. 82) and its impact on mainstream media discourses on fatness as a feminist issue. The classic feminist slogan ‘the private is political’ is becoming increasingly relevant in the media landscape of today – as popular feminism has become a fixture of many young people’s lives (Banet-Weiser 2018), and as radical movements such as fat activism has taken to the internet (Baer 2016), particularly via an incorporation of digital media in everyday practices (Pink 2012, p. 124, Highfield 2016). This is feminist activism that draws the private into the public and potentially political sphere (Mendes et al. 2019). Here, we are interested in the connective practices of a network of fat positive/activist instagrammers, whose practices in some ways draw on the tradition of feminist ‘consciousness raising groups’ of the 1970s and also draw the on established visual practices of the platform – practices that additionally place them as part of the growing number of internet microcelebrities (Senft 2008, Abidin 2018, pp. 11–12). In this paper we explore how, in their practices, empathy and care are emerging as a private-political media modality (Wahl-Jorgensen 2019, p. 10). A modality which holds both potentials of social and political change via ‘affective solidarity’ (Hemmings 2012) but also the danger of charging an emotive tax on already marginalised individuals who wish to gain public recognition. The paper is based on preliminary findings from a collaborative research project, which is in its early stages. We therefore welcome constructive engagements with our ideas, methods and preliminary findings. Abidin, C., 2018. Internet Celebrity: Understanding Fame Online (Society Now). Emerald Publishing Limited. Baer, H., 2016. Redoing feminism: digital activism, body politics, and neoliberalism. Feminist Media Studies, 16 (1), 17–34. Banet-Weiser, S., 2018. Empowered: Popular feminism and popular misogyny. Duke University Press. Hemmings, C., 2012. Affective solidarity: Feminist reflexivity and political transformation. Feminist Theory, 13 (2), 147–161. Highfield, T., 2016. Social Media and Everyday Politics. Cambridge: Polity. Lupton, D., 2018. Fat. New York: Routledge. Mendes, K., Ringrose, J., and Keller, J., 2019. Digital feminist activism: Girls and women fight back against rape culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Pausé, C., 2015. Rebel heart: performing fatness wrong online. M/C Journal, 18 (3). Pink, S., 2012. Situating everyday life: Practices and places. Los Angeles: Sage Publications. Senft, T.M., 2008. Camgirls: Celebrity & Community in the Age of Social Networks. New York: Peter Lang. Wahl-Jorgensen, K., 2019. Emotions, media and politics. Cambridge: John Wiley & Sons.
Publikationsdatosep. 2020
StatusUdgivet - sep. 2020
BegivenhedFutures of Feminist & Queer Solidarities : Connectivity, Materiality, and Mobility in a Digitalized World - University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sverige
Varighed: 30 sep. 202030 sep. 2020


KonferenceFutures of Feminist & Queer Solidarities
LokationUniversity of Gothenburg


  • Activism
  • Digital Media
  • Online Activism
  • Fatness
  • Fat Activism
  • Feminism

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