Graffiti—the ‘Selfies’ of the Ancient Near East?

Posted in: Ancient Near East Today
Tags: Byzantine Period, graffiti, Graffiti for the Dead, jordan, Roman, selfie


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By: Karen B. Stern

Few phenomena embody the current zeitgeist like the ‘selfie.’ Glances through Facebook or Instagram reveal selfies in abundance. Cameras on today’s smart phones, combined with the platform of social media, transform auto-photography into an art form by allowing people to publically project carefully selected images of themselves—posing in front of famed monuments, clustered with friends at public events, or at home, surrounded by friends and family. The selfie, which today serves as a common medium of self-expression, self-documentation, and self-promotion, manifests the wonders of the postmodern age, in which technological access permits individuals to publicize their photos and achievements.

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