Police Brutality or for our PC minded readers ‘Bad Policing’, became the driving force for a civil protest, that not only gathered domestic attention but also, became international. Unsurprisingly, the internet kindled the protest through social platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. However, words alone did not define the protest, we needed visuals and symbols, and our resourceful Nigerian youths delivered. I do not claim that these images represent the totality, but collectively, they became profile pictures, status updates, tweets that in my opinion defined the Visual #EndSARS protest.
It is hard to deny the emotions that this image evoked during the protest. It ticked all the right boxes, and could be interpreted in so many ways. I could for instance reuse this image as a symbol for freedom or women’s Empowerment. For me this was perhaps the best visual symbol the #EndSARS Protest generated.
The clenched (or the Raised) fist is a symbol universally associated with Resistance, Defiance, Revolution, Camaraderie, Unity, support. Given the nature, objective, and participants of the #EndSARS protest, a symbol like this, expressing resistance against police brutality, bad governance, and poor leadership became commonplace. In fact, the image provided here only represents a variation generated during the protest.
There are a number of variations of this meme, but after its emergence it immediately became an internet sensation. In English it means ‘Madman Speak Louder.’ I believe the message was primarily directed to those (mainly elites in all spheres, and youths) who chose not to speak out, contribute to the Protest
This image strongly reflects the ‘Nigeria’ we live in today. Aside telling the violent, and sad tale of the events on October 20, 2020. It reminds us of the lives lost, stories untold, and the need for change in Nigeria.