Sunday, March 13, 2005

On Color Enactment

The Times had a brief piece on the rise of "colorized revolutions" as exampled by the Ukraine's Orange Revolution, President Bush's comment on Iraq's Purple Revolution, and the preponderance of pink being warn by Iranian women. Karen Beckwith, a political science professor at Ohio's Wooster College comments on the use of color:
"How does the state respond to it?" she asked. "It's very hard to defeat. You can't go around making people take off their clothes. Also, the state can't tell who's organizing it. And it shows incredible solidarity. You know that you're not alone. You don't even need to carry a sign. The person himself or herself is the protest."
I especially like that last line, since it reminds of me of my favorite rhetorical device, enactment wherein the speaker becomes the argument. This color thing, though seems different. Usually, when I think of enactment, I think of a speaker, a rhetor, a person at the front, active and all of that. Wearing a color is powerful only in light of the rest of the people doing the same thing. It can only work within the context of a group--the audience. It works with and reminds me of something Professor Goodwin once told me:What's the difference between a mob and a protest? A protest is filled with people who look around, recognize, and say that they are all there for a reason and purpose.


Post a Comment

<< Home