Detalle Publicación

TED Talks as life writing: online and offline activism

Título de la revista: LIFE WRITING
ISSN: 1448-4528
Volumen: 15
Número: 4
Páginas: 487 - 503
Fecha de publicación: 2018
The peculiar format of the TED talk lends itself particularly well to human rights advocacy campaigns. Advocates worldwide need to present a self in consonance with the ideals they uphold. A TED talk, characterised by condensing information in a manner conducive to capturing the interest of an international audience and in just over 15 to 20 minutes on average, is an opportunity for activists to represent - and identify - themselves with a very simple and distinct memorable message. A determining factor of TED talks is the memoir detail the speakers exploit in a sort of rags-to-riches narrative, where overcoming difficulty and finding success are recurrent tropes. This article explores two case studies - two North Korean young women defectors and their TED/TEDx talks. Reading their TED talks as examples of human rights life writing showcases an interesting move on the part of activists towards online platforms that may allow for immediacy and reach. The technological affordances TED provides, such as the interactive mechanisms that facilitate comments and replies, match the activist agenda of reaching wider audiences, informing the public of the transgressions they denounce. These rights activists¿ self-presentation acts are shaped by an emotional discourse to gain the support they seek.