In a particularly complex, and therefore memorable period, it was Luigi Di Maio who raised the statuette to the sky for the most targeted character of 2022. The former Minister of Labor and Foreign Affairs and enfant prodige of the Movimento 5 Stelle was crowned by the “Meme Award”, a real memetic Oscar organized by the “Memissima” cultural festival which took place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 November at OFF TOPIC, the cultural hub of the city of Turin.
Together with the former Minister, the 10 finalist pages divided into various categories were also awarded, from politics to videos passing through art, current affairs and sport, without forgetting metamemes, or the creation of memes on the very concept of meme.
Di Maio’s collapse on Facebook and Instagram
by Pier Luca Santoro
Memes, simplifying a lot, understood as ironic images sometimes containing a text and adhering to a stream of consciousness, quotes, cross-references and various catchphrases, are one of the most interesting and protean forms of communication of these years.
With the meme politics, entertainment, activism are made, they are spaces in which society is analysed, overturned, unmasked and ironized. Everything can become a meme and everything can mix in the meme, from the trouble with the taxman of Cicciogamer89 to Dragon Ball, from Di Maio to Focault passing through the war in Ukraine, in which the images of the bombings mix with the mockery of the Russians.
The shopping experience manifests itself with a meme
Although the concept of meme was not born with the internet, it was thanks to it that in recent years it has taken hold as a transversal form of communication, a sort of lingua franca in which every day a vocabulary is created which is burned the next day and where pages of the new one are written with what remains, where simplification applies, but also layers and layers of high and low, crazy and intelligent, known and obscure communicative references, where getting lost is very easy and the only solution is to let yourself be carried away. A form of communication that has spread with social networks but that today we find on instagram and also on TikTok, because memes are not just images, on the contrary, videos and songs are absolutely capable of becoming so. President Giorgia Meloni knows this well and her ability to subvert “I am Giorgia” and perhaps Queen Elizabeth was also aware of it.
The objective of Memissima and the Meme Awards is therefore absolutely sensible, because it fixes something extremely elusive in the moment, it allows us to read, as often happens with awards, the common feeling of a period.
Looking at the winners and their names, it is inevitable to find yourself in a crossfire of irony, a collage of colliding worlds, irreverence and a deeply intellectual approach at times. Because memes are serious business, until they decide not to be anymore.
The inquirygram page won the Oscar for the metameme category. We continue with the sport and the victory of series/a/memesreloaded. The Oscar for the meme-novel category was awarded to the Filosofia Cotta page. In the PGI meme category, kataniaminchiaposting. For politics the hipster democrats while for the trash/dunk category the laura_pausini_onlyfans page. Among the everyday memes the khamehamesutra page while, for current events, 69heart won. Finally, in the art and entertainment category the mo_n_stre page and for videos il grande_flagello.
And perhaps the most important prize could only go to Di Maio, of all the political figures, not because the others were less memorable, but because Di Maio has always demonstrated all the necessary conditions to become the subject of memes: he was absolutely unaware of the comedic drifts of some of his outings, deeply involved in his own role but also capable of letting himself go to moments of absurd conviviality, such as when during the electoral campaign he began to imitate, even with many more people under Patrick Swzye, the very famous scene from Dirty Dancing.
And how can we forget his rejoicing from the balcony after defeating poverty? On the other hand, the 5 Star Movement had presented itself on the political scene as something new, something that memes also used in its communication, it was inevitable that it would be overwhelmed when the results of the polls gradually marked a defeat.
On the other hand, the meme is like this, it lurks in madness, it exploits the contaminating capacity of the internet to reproduce itself like a language virus until we don’t even recognize it anymore, it is the crack in the wall of our lives, and Italian politics has cracks far too many.