This article analyses the representation of the Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on the Instagram page nomfup, which is managed by Renzi’s spin doctor, Filippo Sensi. nomfup’s photos are frequently published in the Italian media, and thus contribute to the construction of Renzi’s public image. The article draws on Bourdieu’s perspectives on cultural production, on the cultural studies link between media and ideology, and on Barthes’ idea that photography relates to the past. Methodologically, it analyses nomfup’s photos through social semiotics, focusing on images depicting Renzi from the back and in black and white. The results show that first, when Renzi is represented from his back, the viewer sees the world as a Prime Minister does. Second, the images representing Renzi in black and white refer to the 1950s and 1960s, to the old Catholic party Democrazia Cristiana and to an idealized Italy still pre-modern and extraneous to Berlusconi’s excesses and scandals.
- Italy, Political communication, Matteo Renzi, Semiotics