Prof. Katrien Jacobs on Gender/Democracy/Diversity: Pepe the Frog and Cuteness Activism Amongst Sinophone Youth

Prof. Katrien Jacobs has been invited by the Centre for the Study of Globalization and Cultures, The University of Hong Kong to speak at an online event on
“Gender/Democracy/Diversity: Pepe the Frog and Cuteness Activism Amongst Sinophone Youth” on 21 September 2020 (5pm).


Pepe the Frog as a mascot of the global alt-right and male supremacist hate wars has been liberated by the Hong Kong anti-extradition protest movement and its pro-democracy ideology. What are some of the reasons that this mascot figure has crossed political frontlines and what does it now mean to liberate Hong Kong? In this talk I will explain how USA and EU far-right netizens and activists have made great efforts to hijack and rebrand online imagery and personas within a Gramscian quest for cultural hegemony. I also critically ponder if the re-hijacked mascot personifies collectivism or elitism, inclusivity or xenophobia, gender freedom or machismo within the Hong Kong protest culture.