Meme-Leseliste von Harley Aussoleil

Harley Aussoleil von COVEN Berlin blickt auf das Thema Meme zurück und schlägt eine Leseliste vor, die einige der wichtigen Themen aus dem Workshop “Complainers and Killjoys: Criticizing the Art World through Memes” sowie “Medienkultur A-Z: Memes” umfasst.

“Thank you to HEK for inviting me to share a stage with Idil Galip and getting the chance to witness her lurking brilliance IRL!  Below are some links from the talk and discussion that followed. Please feel free to contact us with any further questions or juicy kernels of meme knowledge you’d like to share with us.

Yacht Metaphor: audio and visual online gallery and archive of memes from @CoryInTheAbyss, aka Jenson Leonard; the gallery also provides footnotes for each meme, creating a digital essay with each meme.



  • Joshua Citarella’s essay on the ‘slow red-pill’ (2021) which illustrates his research into Irony as a dark place to lure lurkers to the alt right and other hateful ideologies
  • Limor Shifman’s essay ‘Memes in a Digital World: Reconciling with a Conceptual Troublemaker’, which establishes memes as ‘postmodern folklore’

Leftists Memeing outside a US/Europe-centric context

Links on how Hong Kong protest movements reappropriated Pepe the Frog to be an ‘Everyman’ symbol for democracy and anti-authoritarianism starting in 2019. Matt Furie, the illustrator behind the original inception of Pepe before its image became viral, ‘killed’ by his creation  in 2017 for how it had become a ubiquitous symbol for the alt right in the US, but apparently celebrated Pepe in Hong Kong as having a renewed sense of life.

Billy H.c. Kwok / Getty Images

Protesters gather and rest next to graffiti of Pepe the Frog, outside the Central Government complex in Hong Kong after a march during a demonstration on Aug. 18, 2019., Image: Billy H.c. Kwok / Getty Images

Toad Worship: After an inflammatory interview from journalist Sharon Cheung with former General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party and paramount leader, Jiang Zemin, was released where he repeatedly  insulted and berated Cheung, memes went viral that compared Jiang to a toad. A logo emerged which featured his recognizable   thick-rimmed black glasses, dots for a nose, and latin letters to stand for ‘naive’, which was one of the accusations flailed at Cheung. The satirical commentary and memes have become part of a kind of anti fandom-fandom, creating a pseudo-cult ‘worshiping’ toad Jiang.


Memes comparing Chinese president Xi Jinping to Winnie the Pooh, beginning in 2013 after he met with Barack Obama.


Palastian Chad: This is the name given to a US/Iranian bodybuilder named Mohammad who, after becoming viral because US reported Don Lemon reportedly liked this thirst traps, became viral again after repling to a zionist and islamophic tweet and has since been known for purposefully extremist rhetoric and tongue in cheek commentary on both his OnlyFans and twitter account.

Museu de Meme: online Brazilian Meme museum.”

Harley Aussoleil

Harley Agnes Aussoleil ist eine in Berlin lebende Kuratorin, Forscherin und Künstlerin, die sich für einen abolitionistischen Ansatz in der Community-Arbeit interessiert. Seit 2016 ist Harley 1/6 des queer-feministischen Kunst- und Kuratorenkollektivs COVEN BERLIN (

Gemeinsam gründeten Harley, Frances und Cem das Kollektiv “Hoer NY ist ein Kollektiv, das online von drei Freunden gegründet wurde”.


COVEN BERLIN ist ein queeres Kunstkollektiv, das seinen Fokus auf Feminismus, Liebe, Gender und Sexualität legt. Gegründet im Jahr 2013, blühte es auf, als ein paar Queers auf eine Craigslist-Anzeige antworteten. Die aktuellen Mitglieder sind Harley Aussoleil, Frances Breden, Lorena Juan, Judy Landkammer, Kiona Hagen Niehaus und Louise Trueheart.

Als Gruppe will COVEN BERLIN einen offenen Wirkungsbereich schaffen, um systemischer Gewalt und Ungleichheit zu trotzen, und widmet sich der emotionalen Verarbeitung, der kollektiven Heilung, der politischen Neubewertung, der gerechten Bezahlung und unterstützenden Zeitmanagementstrategien. Das Kollektiv fördert Kulturarbeit, in Berlin und online, in Form von verkörperter affektiver Forschung und digital-hybriden kuratorischen Ansätzen, immer mit einem Hauch von Humor.