When we shine, we shine together

A carnivalesque reading of affective solidarity among Danish fat-accepting Instagrammers


  • Lene Bull Christiansen
  • Maj Hedegaard Heiselberg Roskilde University


Activism, Affect, Social Media, Instagram, fatness, Bakhtin


Taking its point of departure in a photoshoot organized by Danish fat activists, this article explores the relationship between activism, social media, and affect. Through a carnivalesque lens (Bahktin, 1984a), the article illustrates how the Fat Photoshoot as a joyful and festive celebration of fat embodiment challenges prevailing social body norms and understandings of the fat body in society. By including the social media aftermath of the event, the article argues that the Fat Photoshoot’s norma- tive upending of fatphobic culture is extended in time and space. By sharing, liking, and re-posting photos from the photoshoot in the following days and months, the article demonstrates how participants re-invoke an affective solidarity (Hemmings, 2012) fostered by the event. Through affective flows on social media, personal expe- rience is placed within a collective and consequently political landscape (Papacha- rissi, 2015), allowing fat activists to not only envision but also make claims for an alternative future for fat bodies.


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How to Cite

Bull Christiansen, L., & Hedegaard Heiselberg, M. (2022). When we shine, we shine together: A carnivalesque reading of affective solidarity among Danish fat-accepting Instagrammers. MedieKultur: Journal of Media and Communication Research, 38(72), 028–044. Retrieved from https://tidsskrift.dk/mediekultur/article/view/129079