The process of hybridization has pervaded all fields of human communication; journalism and activism are no exceptions. An example is the graphic project Los vagabundos de la chatarra, an editorial undertaking that comprises observations, drawings, data, a map, a video and accounts of the people who gathered and sold scrap metal for a living on the edges of Barcelona during the economic crisis that started in 2007.
This new article –published by the Catalan Journal of Communication & Cultural Studies (CJCS)– explores Los vagabundos de la chatarra from the point of view of journalism studies, cómics and graphic novels and activism.
Los vagabundos de la chatarra is conducted and communicated in an extremely hybrid manner: it visualizes data on a map, it strives for social change, it is journalistic and it has a comic design face.
Relying on media literature and critical data studies, discourse analysis and qualitative interviewing, our article examines the multifaceted shapes that activism and journalism are taking in complex times and explores the potential for subversion that such formats offer. The findings suggest that activists and journalists around the world are embarking on unapologetic hybridization, crossing lines between journalism, campaigning and art.