#MLSXSW: The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes

March 8, 2014


Austin Convention Center, Room 10AB


#sxsw #LOLnations #MLSXSW
Global memes add snark and commentary to politics. Memes have helped citizens around the world express political support and dissent: from the meme that helped a cat run for office in Mexico, to the goats that parodied Obama’s visit to Uganda, to the Myanmar kitten that people used to protest the cost of cellphone service. And sometimes memes are used BY a government against dissent, as is the case in Azerbaijan.
Many memes stay within their culture, but advice animals, lolcats, and rage comics often get repurposed in surprising ways outside their origin.
What are the barriers for cross cultural memes to spread, and what is special about the ones that do? How are goat and cat memes an easier mechanism for people to begin to engage with international politics in an attempt to understand the LOLs?

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