This symbolic Guy Fawkes mask, made famous by the movie V for Vendetta (just based on the graphic novel of the same name by Alan Moore) is surprisingly became a worldwide bestseller. More than 100,000 masks per year are now sold. This number seems to increase as some fashion accessories has been a symbol of revolution for the younger generation, perhaps even to challenge the old revolutionary iconography of the famous photo of Che Guevara by Alberto Korda.
The New York Times has noted the irony: a symbol adopted by the militant anti-establishment, thanks to its popularity and helping to fill in the blanks of a large company in Hollywood. But it is interesting to note that the adoption of the mask as a political symbol indicates a greater change in the way the younger generations see the protest and dissent.
Rightly or wrongly, certain symbols have come to represent the political views between generations: the Heroic Guerrilla, with a mixture of Ernesto "Che" Guevara of anger and determination, came to represent the political will to social face and head battles over the years 60 and 70. Similarly, the sign of peace immediately recognizable, which was first used simply as a symbol of the British anti-nuclear movement was quickly adopted by the peace movement, reaching the height of his fame during the Vietnam War.
However, the recent increase in stronger laws and more social media, which is recognized by the authorities can lead to a custodial sentence, it is said that dissenting opinions will become a symbol of the anonymity of their symbol of protest.
The late French philosopher Jean Baudrillard argues that objects had to use both the value and brand value, divide helpful in understanding this phenomenon. The mask, which is folded and features caricaturised face, giving the brand the protesters, behind which the identities and intentions can be hidden. Remember balaclavas during the riot, provides an opportunity to participate and the secret - but unlike a ski mask, the mask itself also carries a political dimension. A growing number of sales indicates the mask generation disenfranchised from the political process, but that is not entirely political. E 'in a situation like this, the symbols of power become important.
It would be naive to think that every form that is sold is a political statement, just as it would clearly be wrong to think that every 'Che' brand products represent the values of respect for the Argentine communist revolutionary. But if we understand this phenomenon as the commercial use of the idea of political dissent and anonymity are slowly becoming dependent on one another, if not synonymous.
By Anonymous, hacking collective, is perhaps the best example. While the organization supports the opposition and civil disobedience, its principles, also hosts a large number of people for which these objectives may not be as important as Anonymous would have us believe. However, it provides a mask once a political symbol, which offers anonymity. And here is the symbol of the growing popularity of full political aura of comfort that it offers at the same time (and, depending on the activity, safety), a secret.
Or maybe I'm just barking up the wrong tree, the phenomenon of Guy Fawkes mask could be nothing more than a fad. But if we learned anything about the longevity of the Korda image of Che is a symbol that when it seizes your imagination, it is useful to consider its relevance.