Democracy and Masks. Towards an Iconology of the Faceless Crowd


  • Jacopo Galimberti University of Bologna



Political iconology, Mask, Face recognition, Multitude, Masses


Since 2008 an object has become part of the repertoire of demonstrations, the mask. First in the Global North and then worldwide, a variety of masks – from that of the film V for Vendetta to that of The Joker and many more – have been donned by protesters. While individual masks have been investigated, the widespread use of masks as a meaningful political symbol still deserves analysis, all the more so that this artefact is absent from the political tradition of the Western World. The article formulates some hypotheses in order to understand the genealogy of the “political mask”. In particular, it locates its longue durée visual history within the iconography of the “faceless crowd”.


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How to Cite

Galimberti, J. (2021). Democracy and Masks. Towards an Iconology of the Faceless Crowd. European Journal of Creative Practices in Cities and Landscapes, 4(1), 211–235.