Space and Networks: Mexico City and #Yosoy132

Alan Grabinsky Zabludovsky 1 *

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Abstract

The first Internet-driven political movement in Mexican history started two years ago in Mexico City. The movement, called #yosoy132, was integrated by university students denouncing the alleged support of media giant Televisa to presidential candidate Enrique Peña Nieto. Mexico City became a platform for the movement, allowing multiple actors to participate across space and time.
During the protest, public space became a hybrid realm in which global and local networks coincided. The Internet reconfigured the relation of urbanites to space and to each other, and face-to-face encounters, mediated by social networks, allowed for protestors to cohere in a collective identity. This was an ephemeral moment, however, that latter succumbed to the fragmented life of the megalopolis.
In the paper I will show how the events that lead to the massive protest of #yosoy132 in the city center did not take place in a vacuum; they developed in particular areas of the city that are intersected by different local and global threads. Spaces in cities are connected to each other in different ways, the Internet is one: participation in it extends the field of action of a crowd or an individual beyond the limits set up by the built environment. Thus, a crowd that congregates in a secluded space and tweets about it is creating a sense of events unfolding precisely throughout the whole city because of their networked visibility.

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 4, Issue October 2014 - Special Issue, pp. 89-99

Published Online: 01 Oct 2014

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