A visual uprising: framing the online activism of Bahrain's Shiʿi opposition

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Drawing on content analysis and framing theory, this article examines the use of images in the social media activism of three Bahraini Shiʿi opposition groups throughout 2015: Al-Wefaq, a moderate political society in favour of constitutional monarchy; Haqq, an underground pro-republic political society; and the February 14 Coalition, a decentralized umbrella group of youth activists dedicated to overthrowing Bahrain’s Al Khalifa monarchy. The differing ideologies, objectives and approaches to activism within Bahrain’s Shiʿi opposition are investigated through an analysis of each group’s framing of themes including religion, violence, nationalism and sectarianism. The first empirical study of social media image activism in post-Arab Spring Bahrain, this article reveals the increasing fragmentation of the Shiʿi opposition following the 2011 uprising, and makes a valuable contribution to the broader debate surrounding the changing nature of activism in an increasingly visual digital age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-247
Number of pages23
JournalMedia, War and Conflict
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Arab Spring
  • Bahrain
  • Facebook
  • February 14 Coalition
  • Haqq
  • al-Wefaq
  • framing
  • online activism
  • social media


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