This project is part of the Picturing the Social research.This project focuses on images uploaded to Twitter and Facebook after the death of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in April 2013. This event and Thatcher’s subsequent state funeral were subject to intense and contested representation on social media that also involved the production and circulation of a large number of images. These images included digital photographs of events related to Thatcher’s death, but also digitised analogue press photographs from the 1980s, posters, cartoons, montages, newspaper front-pages, and a wide range of other kinds of appropriated and adapted imagery.
The project addresses these different image-types as well as specific themes shared across them. In particular, the project is concerned with event-related groups of images, such as those related to the 1985-86 Miner’s Strike and Hillsborough Disaster in 1989. The project held a workshop at Sheffield University in June 2015 entitled The Death of Thatcher on Social Media, that brought together people from different academic disciplines and sectors to discuss the role of social media images in relation to these important elements of recent British political history and cultural memory.
Articles developed from this research address subjects such as the politics of remembering Thatcher through social media images and the methodological challenges of capturing, categorising, and interpreting such images.