International Online Conference
20-21 January 2022

Activating Attention: Political Videos on Social Media

Anna-Lisa Apprecht


Anna-Lisa Apprecht is a freelance campaigner and digital communications editor focussing on Social Media, working for Amnesty International in Germany and others. She has previously worked in political campaigning for the German Green Party. Currently, she is pursuing a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies at Malmö University and already holds a degree in Communication Design. Her research interests include social movements, resistance and different forms of violence from feminist and power critical perspectives.

Tina Askanius


Tina Askanius is associate professor in Media and Communication Studies in the School of Arts and Communication at Malmö University. She holds a PhD from Lund University where she defended a thesis on contemporary forms of video activism in 2012. Her research primarily concerns the interplay between social media and social movements and she has published extensively on these matters in the context of climate change and social justice movements in Europe as well as ultra-nationalist and neo-Nazi movements in Scandinavia.

Marcus Bösch


Marcus works as TikTok researcher and consultant. He publishes the leading subscriber newsletter Understanding TikTok and is a research fellow at HAW Hamburg. Marcus is a trained journalist and has worked with Deutsche Welle, Germany’s International Broadcaster for more than fifteen years. In 2021 Marcus has published two reports on TikTok and the German Federal Election for the Mozilla Foundation.

Yves Citton


Yves Citton is fortunate enough to be paid to study and teach Literature and Media at the University Paris 8 Vincennes-Saint Denis, and to count as one of the co-editors of the quarterly journal Multitudes. He previously studied and taught at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, USA (1992-2003) and at the Université Grenoble Alpes (2003-2017). He recently published Mediarchy (Polity, 2019), The Ecology of Attention (Polity, 2017), Altermodernités des Lumières (Seuil, 2022), Faire avec. Conflits, coalitions, contagions (Les Liens qui Libèrent, 2021), Générations Collapsonautes. Naviguer en temps d’effondrements (avec Jacopo Rasmi, 2020), Contre-courants politiques (2018), Zazirocratie (2011). His articles can be accessed online at

Collapsonaut Attention

Attentional Agency Is Environmental Agency

Tom Divon


Tom Divon is a Social Media and Culture researcher at the Department of Journalism and Communication at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Israel; Divon’s research focuses on the evolution of social media platforms, social-political youth cultures on social media, and their potential for education processes. Currently, Divon examines TikTok cultures in three key areas: TikTokers‘ engagements with Holocaust commemoration and education, TikTokers performative combat in antisemitism, and TikTokers Memetic participation in nationalism-driven conflicts.

Jens Eder


Jens Eder studied philosophy and literature with a focus on media. He worked for several years in media practice, including in the field of screenwriting. After writing a book on narrative structures in popular film, he completed his doctorate in 2002 on characters in feature films and habilitated in 2011 with a thesis on emotions in audiovisual media. From 1999, he taught film, media and communication studies at the universities of Hamburg, Mainz and Mannheim. Since 2017 he has been working at the Film University of Babelsberg in the interdisciplinary professorship for storytelling and aesthetics.

Şirin Erensoy


Şirin Fulya Erensoy is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie post-doctoral fellow at Film University Babelsberg Konrad Wolf. Her academic work includes video activism as an alternative media practice; censorship in Turkey’s documentary cinema and gender and genre cinema. She has lectured in Film and Television departments and has been part of organizational committees for academic conferences, including Teaching Women’s Filmmaking Conference (Istanbul Bilgi University, 2021. Şirin has jury memberships for international film festivals such as In the Palace International Film Festival (Bulgaria) and Porto Femme International Film Festival (Portugal). She was also the host of independent news outlet Medyascope TV’s English news bulletin This Week in Turkey from 2019-2021. She has practical experience in documentary production as a producer, director and editor.

German Gordejev


German Gordejev has 9 years of experience in managerial roles in the NGO sector (Lithuania and Belarus), and holds a national award – order for merits to Lithuania awarded by President Dalia Grybauskaite for the humanitarian work conducted in Lithuania. Since 2019, German Gordejev has been a director of ePramova – a Belarusian NGO based in Vilnius, Lithuania. German Gordejev has academic background in legal studies.

Tobias Gralke


Tobias Gralke works in the cultural sector, in political education, and in democracy research. He’s a research fellow at the University of Bonn (project: Attention Strategies of Video Activism on the Social Web) and a Ph.D. candidate at the Film University of Babelsberg. He studied German Literature and Philosophy at the University of Freiburg, Cultural Studies at the University of Hildesheim, and Human Rights (School of Advanced Study) and Sustainable Development (SOAS) at the University of London. His research is focusing on protest, social movements, and political climate communication.

Britta Hartmann


Britta Hartmann studied communication and German literature with a focus on film and media. She worked as a teaching assistant at the Film University of Babelsberg and received her Ph.D. from Utrecht University in the Netherlands with a dissertation on textual pragmatics and narratology of film beginnings, published 2009. Since 2015 she is professor of film studies and media culture at Bonn University where she teaches in the field of film theory and history with a focus on documentary. She is one of the founding editors of the film studies journal Montage AV and editor of anthologies on film studies.

Marco Heinig 

Marco Heinig studied history and philosophy in Berlin with a focus on economic and financial crises. He’s been active in political youth education for many years and has been working as an independent filmmaker since 2009 for NGOs and production companies as well as a video journalist at leftvision. For more than 15 years, he’s been accompanying numerous social movements, from the anti-summit protests in Evian, Strasbourg, and Heiligendamm over environmental movements like in the Wendland or the square movements following the 2008 crisis – as a freelance consultant in political communication, as a filmmaker, and an activist.

Leftvision produces reports, short documentaries, debate formats and trailers on a wide range of topics from the perspective of and in support of socially critical, anti-racist and anti-neoliberal social movements.


Aslı Kotaman


Aslı Kotaman worked on the relationship between forgetting, remembering, social traumas, and the mourning process in cinema. Having books and articles in this field, Dr. Aslı Kotaman is an active columnist and has two books outside of academia. Currently working on feminist video activism, Kotaman continues her research at the University of Bonn.

Patricia Machmutoff


Patricia Machmutoff is an activist with several feminist and leftist movements as well as with Deutsche Wohnen & Co enteignen, where she holds the position of social media chief. She has participated in the production of various video clips and films. In connection with her wage labor, she also deals with political communication and social media.

Deutsche Wohnen & Co. enteignen is a grassroots citizens‘ initiative in Berlin that has achieved a referendum on the expropriation and socialization of private housing companies in September of 2021.


Sandra Ristovska


Sandra Ristovska is Assistant Professor of Media Studies at the College of Media, Communication, and Information at the University of Colorado Boulder. Her research, informed by her experiences as a documentary filmmaker, focuses on the interplay between images and human rights, particularly in institutional and legal contexts. She is the author of Seeing Human Rights: Video Activism as a Proxy Profession (MIT Press, 2021) and co-editor of Visual Imagery and Human Rights Practice (Palgrave, 2018). Her new project, Through the Lens of the Law: Interpreting Video Evidence in U.S. Courts in the Digital Age, is supported by a Mellon/ACLS Scholars & Society Fellowship and includes a research residency at the Scientific Evidence Committee of the Science and Technology Law Section of the American Bar Association (2021-2022).

Alena Strohmaier


Dr. Alena Strohmaier is project leader of the research project „But I’m not filming! I’m just doing a bit of video…“ Cinematic Appropriation Processes of Videos from the Popular Uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa 2009-11 funded by the German Federal Ministry (BMBF). Prior to that, she was scientific coordinator of the research network Re-Configurations. History, Remembrance and Transformation Processes in the Middle East and North Africa (both: University of Marburg). Her first monograph based on her PhD on films of the Iranian Diaspora, entitled Medienraum Diaspora. Verortungen zeitgenössischer iranischer Diasporafilme, was published 2019. Her recent publications include Media and Mapping Practices in the Middle East and North Africa: Producing Space (2021), edited with Angela Krewani.

Güliz Sağlam


Güliz Saglam is a feminist documentary filmmaker and a video-activist. Her work consists of independent documentaries on various issues including immigration, women workers‘ strikes and resistance in different parts of Turkey, as well as solidarity campaigns of women’s organizations with women workers‘ resistance movements and the encounter of feminists with women labor and peace activism of women. She documents the campaigns and demonstrations of feminist movement’s and women’s initiative for peace. She is involved in the organization of Documentarist Istanbul Documentary Days and Eurasiadoc Turkey Documentary Scriptwriting Workshop. She takes part in different video-activism collectives. Her films have been internationally screened in various film festivals.

Sophija Savtchouk


Sophija Savtchouk is a Belarusian activist and co-founder of the first Belarusian diaspora association in Germany – Razam e.V. At present, she works at the German Marshall Fund of the United States for a project contributing to international efforts to support Belarusian civil society. Sophija earned a master’s degree in media studies from the University of Bonn with her master’s research on video activism in Belarus during the 2020 presidential election. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in communication studies from the European Humanities University.

Kerstin Schankweiler


Kerstin Schankweiler is Professor for Image Studies in a Global Context at the Institute for Art and Music, Technische Universität Dresden. Her research interests focus on digital image cultures, art history in a global context, post-colonial and affect theory, and contemporary art from Africa. Publications include Bildproteste (Berlin 2019), the edited volumes Reading Objects in the Contact Zone (Heidelberg 2021, ed. with Eva-Maria Troelenberg and Anna Messner) and Images Testimonies. Witnessing in Times of Social Media (London 2019, ed. with Verena Straub and Tobias Wendl) as well as a Special Issue of Parallax on Affective Witnessing (2020, ed. with Michael Richardson).

Chris Tedjasukmana


Chris Tedjasukmana is Professor of Everyday Media and Digital Cultures at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany, and a member of the editorial board of the journal Montage AV. After studying political science, theater, film and media studies, and philosophy in Frankfurt am Main, he received his doctorate from the FU Berlin with a dissertation on Mechanische Verlebendigung: Ästhetische Erfahrung im Kino (Aesthetic Experience in Cinema), which was published by Fink-Verlag in 2014. His research focuses on media witnessing, critical phenomenology, political aesthetics, film theory, social media studies, gender and queer studies.

Josepha Wessels


Josepha (Joshka) Wessels is Associate Professor in Communication for Development at the School of Arts and Communication (K3) of Malmö University. Josepha has over 24 years of experience in international development, academia and documentary filmmaking throughout the Arab world. She lived between 1997 and 2002 in Aleppo, Syria, working as a JPO for the Dutch Directorate-General for International Cooperation (DGIS). She has a MA in Visual Anthropology from Leiden University and wrote her PhD in Human Geography at the University of Amsterdam in 2008, based on long term anthropological fieldwork in Syria. Between 2011 and 2016, she conducted postdoctoral research at Lund University and at the Centre for Resolution of International Conflicts (CRIC) at the University of Copenhagen, with fieldwork in Palestine, Israel, Jordan, Turkey and Syria. In 2019, she published a book entitled Documenting Syria: Film-making, Video Activism and Revolution with IB Tauris/Bloomsbury UK.