1. bookVolume 9 (2022): Issue 1 (June 2022)
Journal Details
First Published
01 Nov 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
access type Open Access

From the Ground Up: Tactical Mobilization of Grief in the Case of the Afzaal-Salman Family Killings

Published Online: 01 Jul 2022
Volume & Issue: Volume 9 (2022) - Issue 1 (June 2022)
Page range: 1 - 19
Journal Details
First Published
01 Nov 2014
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

This paper focuses on the murders of the Afzaal-Salman family in London, Ontario (Canada) in June, 2021. Immediately after the murders were reported, several hashtags on different social media emerged, focusing attention on the victims and commenting on the Islamophobia that resulted in their deaths. Through a critical discourse analysis of one of these hashtags, #OurLondonFamily that was used on Twitter and Instagram, this paper examines how grief becomes a conveyor of subjugated histories and experiences of Islamophobia, and a conduit through which the politics of identity surface. The paper argues that social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram allow for affective expressions of grief, demonstrating a networked sociality and articulating politics of opposition from the ground up. The affective publics that are engendered include activists and NGOs, whose social worthiness, high number of followers, coordinated and committed attention provides traction that allows for collective grieving that can be politically mobilized. As tactical trajectories, social media posts rupture the spectacle of a harmonious multicultural Canada.


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