When Pakistan’s politics get tough, Pakistanis respond with memes and humor

Pakistanis use memes and humor to critique the political situation, including the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Humorous critique: Memes and humorous content act as both an emotional release and a way to subtly comment on the polarized political scene.
* Since Khan’s arrest on May 9, the internet is filled with memes, TikTok videos, and Instagram reels depicting the protests and arrests.
* Memes capture the exasperation and struggles of citizens facing overlapping crises.

Navigating censorship: Visual humor, such as cartoons and memes, allows for social commentary while avoiding strict censorship.
* Anonymous meme creators avoid identity detection to protect themselves from online abuse and threats.
* Humor has historically found its way through censorship, even during periods of heavy restrictions.

Coping mechanism: Memes serve as a way for Pakistanis to cope with their country’s political, economic, and climate crises.
* Sharing humor allows citizens to manage and share trauma as a community.
* Internet humor retains a political edge and offers a digestible way to approach serious political topics.

View original article on NPR

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