The movie ‘Joker‘ is running in theatres. And as the anti-government protests are going on in Lebanon, demonstrators are bringing the Joker, the main character of the film, to the protest by painting their face like Joker as a symbol.
In Beirut, Lebanon’s capital, people are protesting against the tax imposed on WhatsApp call. Though the tax was withdrawn, the people continued to protest.
“The reason we painted our faces is because we related to the character in the movie. Because before he painted his face he was just living that miserable life.
“Nobody cared about him, nobody would listen to him. He’s upset, he’s angry, and it just drove him to madness and that’s what’s happening [in Lebanon].” Wired quoted as an unnamed woman saying.
The important idea is to hide the face when swearing against some important politician such as [Hezbollah leader] Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Now why Joker? This is simply the artistic way of doing demonstration in Lebanon – it is always done in a creative way and this is part of it.” Sari Hanafi, professor of sociology and chair of the department of sociology, anthropology and media studies at the American University of Beirut, said, reported LAD Bible.
Watch some reporting from Twitter on Lebanon protest:-
— Tamara Qiblawi (@tamaraqiblawi) October 19, 2019
There’s a Joker facepaint station at the protests in Beirut pic.twitter.com/C7BSRyOjS1
— Helen Sullivan (@helenrsullivan) October 18, 2019
Beirut’ta Joker tarafindan karsilandik. pic.twitter.com/cZC3UcINlp
— Canergb (@canergb) October 19, 2019
— ? (@fade__to_black) October 18, 2019
— Fatima (@fatimalmahmoud) October 18, 2019
Demonstrators are demanding that the government be held accountable for the country’s ongoing financial crisis, with a series of austerity measures issued last Thursday (October 17) causing outrage and sparking protests in numerous cities and towns across Lebanon, reported NME.
A woman from Minneapolis, booked for damaging a car, wearing a Joker mask on October 9, comicbook reported.
“Todd Philipps’ film about the Joker has real evocative power,” explained William Blanc, historian and author of the book ‘Super Heroes: A Political History’, to FRANCE24. “It echoes a form of protest against a political system that people believe is inflexible and not listening to the people.”According to him, “the Joker is a plastic character and is not representative of the right or the left”.
He believes that Todd Philipps’ film has inspired demonstrators because “it speaks mainly of being alone, separated from any sense of a collective. This isolation is a real contemporary evil.”
Hong Kong’s protests began in June in opposition to a now-abandoned extradition bill, which would have allowed the transfer of accused criminals to mainland China. Gathering along the city’s subway lines hand-in-hand, pro-democracy protesters masqueraded as characters including Winnie-the-Pooh, the Joker and Guy Fawkes, reported Daily Mail.
Apart from echoing the main demands of the protest movement, which has been continuing since June, the front also called on the government to abolish the anti-mask law it brought it earlier this month.
The law stipulates a penalty of jail for up to one year and a fine up to HK$25,000 ($3,200) for wearing any face covering at a public gathering.
And in Chile, Hundreds of thousands took to the streets nationwide, protesting against inequality and the social reform initiatives announced on Tuesday night by President Sebastian Pinera.
The Santiago metro fare hike prompted a wave of protests that evolved into a much larger wave of social discontent, with demonstrators decrying the high prices of electricity and gas, poor distribution of pensions and deficient social health services.
“We are all clowns” reads graffiti on a wall in Santiago. In Chile’s Los Angeles, a man dressed up as the Joker dances before a marching crowd. On the day that everything blew up, Joker memes were circulating; one added a third diamond to the Joker’s face to mimic the Metro subway system’s logo. People dressed up as the Joker. Danced like him. Joker debuted in Chile a couple of weeks before the protests, so the timing made a certain kind of sense. (There was also, it should be noted, a pretty decked-out Batman spotted patrolling the streets.) It’s both weird and eerily appropriate that this movie would play a small symbolic role in Chile this week, reported Slate.