ISIS-chan – the Meanings of the Manga Girl in Image Warfare Against the Islamic State

This article explores gendered meanings of ISIS-chan, an Internet meme in the form of a manga girl, produced and used to disrupt the messages from the Islamic State. Moreover, it investigates the performative power of ISIS-chan, and how it is used/interpreted as it circulates on the Internet. The ISIS-chan campaign is seen as an example of how the girl figure is mobilised in the political context of the War on Terror. Characterised by girlish playfulness, humour and creativity, I suggest that ISIS-chan challenges the stereotypical representations of femininity in the War on Terror, and may be perceived as a trickster.

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Tags: image war, ISIS, trickster figure