After the Performance

Open access


In May 2010, the Best Party won the municipal elections in Reykjavik, and the party’s leading figure, comedian Jón Gnarr, was appointed Mayor of Reykjavik. During the election campaign, the party ‘performed democracy’ by playing with irrational, satirical discourses that challenged traditional discourses within political public spheres. Soon after his inauguration, Gnarr began a Facebook page called ‘The Mayor’s Diary’ on which he wrote openly about the challenges faced by a newcomer to politics. Approximately 10% of the Icelandic population follows his profile. This article presents an analysis of the communication conducted on the Mayor’s Diary, particularly of how Facebook as a media environment conditions the Mayor’s performative manoeuvres and, correspondingly, how the subversive discourses galvanised in the election campaign can begin ricocheting back when discussions move from cultural public spheres to political public spheres.

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