SRemember what Canadian media theorist Marshall McLuhan said: “The real message is the medium. » What is meant by this is that the message is not a simple content that would be disseminated indiscriminately by one type of media or another, but on the contrary its very nature is deeply influenced by ergonomics. of the medium through which it is conveyed. This somewhat generic idea, the concrete meaning of which is not necessarily easy to grasp, finds an edifying illustration in the encounter between the issues of images of the war in Ukraine and the visual culture of the TikTok media.
A mobile video-sharing application launched in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has enjoyed dazzling success by offering the possibility of making and broadcasting free small viral clips of a few seconds where users film themselves, generally dancing. , to the music of their choice. For teenagers, who particularly appreciate it, this social network has made it possible to transform a more or less monotonous daily life into a lively musical comedy, a sort of La La La Land discount.
When the war in Ukraine suddenly came to shake the relative tranquility of the European continent, because the fighters are most often young, TikTok logically became, along with other platforms, the sounding board for the fighting. Soldiers burst in the direction of an invisible enemy, tankers maneuvering feverishly in their metal shell, missiles streaking the sky of who knows which province. Since the message is the medium, many of these snapshots of the tiktokized war have been accompanied by never-before-seen background music. that is how Fortunate Sonfrom Creedence Clearwater Revival, accompanied the rocket fire of an ambushed Ukrainian fighter, giving the scene a false air of Vietnam War.
Tragic and light
Even more incongruous: under the hashtag #dancingsoldiers have appeared multiple videos where you can admire the choreographies of soldiers on the battlefield, in fatigues and in arms, the machine gun sometimes dangling ostensibly between the thighs, like a virile appendage transformed into a metronome. Alex Hook from his nickname, Ukrainian commando with blue lagoon eyes, thus became a real viral celebrity thanks to his dance steps, executed from the Donbass. As always with social networks, it is difficult to know if this fighting dad really exists or if he is a legend built from scratch.
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