Political video mashups as allegories of citizen empowerment


  • Richard Edwards IUPUI
  • Chuck Tryon Fayetteville State University




mashups, remix, citizen empowerment, video, politics, US Presidential elections


When the viral video “Vote Different” broke into the mainstream media in March 2007, the political video mashup became a notable media phenomenon. User-generated mashups threatened to cut through the US news clutter that typically shapes election discourse. In this paper, political video mashups are examined as allegories of citizen empowerment during the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Political video mashups can act as tools of political advocacy, forms of political protest, and modes of political commentary. Finally, though they are already being co-opted by mainstream political campaigns, the paper addresses the potential of mashups to re-interpret political messages in ways that may encourage the active re-framing of political issues among 21st century citizens.

Author Biographies

Richard Edwards, IUPUI

Richard L. Edwards is an assistant professor of New Media at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. He has published articles in New Media and Society, Flow, and Film International. He is currently working on a series of articles related to remix culture and mashups.

Chuck Tryon, Fayetteville State University

Chuck Tryon is an assistant professor of English at Fayetteville State University. He is the author of Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence (Rutgers UP) and has published articles in The Journal of Film and Video, Film Criticism, and Rhizomes.net, and the anthology, The Essential Science Fiction Television Reader.




How to Cite

Edwards, R., & Tryon, C. (2009). Political video mashups as allegories of citizen empowerment. First Monday, 14(10). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v14i10.2617