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Mor Cohen

The 2011 Israeli protest for social justice marked a change in the responses of Israeli citizens to political and social matters. The ways in which art and social change intersected during the protest, and the emer- gence of art collectives following the events, call for an understanding of the relation between art and politics in Israel. This article suggests an alternative reading of socially engaged art in Israel. To this end, I use Félix Guattari’s notion of ‘transversality’ and Jacques Rancière’s theory on the ‘aesthetic regime’ to highlight signi cant periods where art and politics have intersected in ways that have challenged Israeli art historiography, often neutralizing the political within an artwork. By using a theoreti- cal framework that emphasizes notions of hybridity and the blurring of boundaries, I make new connections between times, places, and practices that go beyond the binaries of center and periphery, mainstream and alter- native, and aesthetics and politics.

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Donatella della Porta and Mario Diani

The largest pacifist demonstration ever seen in Italy was held in

Rome on 15 February 2003. Behind the lead banner, which read

“Let’s stop the war with no ifs or buts,” were 3 million protesters,

according to organizers (police estimates put the figure at 650,000).

Supporting the march, which was organized by 400 groups and associations,

were 350 local authorities and 136 parliamentarians.

Twenty-eight special trains and 3,000 coaches converged on Rome,

while 2,000 police officers lined the 10 kilometer path that led to the

central stage in Piazza San Giovanni.1 The march in Rome was part

of a wider global protest. L’Unità wrote on 16 February: “Dawn had

yet to break in Rome but Australia had already been marching for a

while.” This international day of protest against the war had been

launched at the European Social Forum in November 2002 and became

international when the idea was taken up in January 2003 at

the World Social Forum in Porto Allegre.

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Lorenzo Mosca

This chapter looks at the most important actors engaged in social and political conflict in Italy during 2012, linking conflicts to policy arenas and the change in policy style of the government. The study is based mostly on a qualitative analysis of the most important national newspapers. The actors examined are the mobilization of students, the trade union movement, the “No TAV” movement (against high-speed trains in northwestern Italy), and the Five Star Movement, all active against the anti-austerity measures of the technical government. Social reaction against so-called neo-liberal policies in Italy has been belated and fragmented when compared with other European countries. In the final section we discuss the explanations for the particular characteristics of the Italian protest movements during 2012.

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The End of Arrogance, the Advent of Persuasion

Public Art in a Multicultural Society

Henri Beunders

In Western societies, the boundaries of the freedom of expression had traditionally been expanding, while the boundaries of religion and 'good morals' had been receding. Since the last decade however, this expansion has slowed down, come to a halt, and ultimately reversed. In Europe, anxiety over the expression of protest through violent means has steadily caused governments to abandon the traditional, seemingly limitless adherence to freedom of expression. Political fear over controversy has come to dominate the climate of commissioning public art. In a polarized world, the debate on what is tolerable has taken on an acute urgency. The art world itself no longer has an answer. After a half-century of autonomy, it has succeeded in demolishing its own authority by ridiculing every aspect of external criticism. The only solution now will be a new form of dialogue with all stakeholders involved.

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Humor, Amnesia, and Making Place

Constitutive Acts of the Subject in Gezi Park, Istanbul

Christopher Houston and Banu Senay

Drawing on Caroline Humphrey’s analysis of the personal consequences of ‘decision-events’, in this article we interpret the 2013 protests around Gezi Park in Istanbul as an eventful situation that instigated a break with participants’ previous political sentiments, recomposing them as transformed subjects in the process. We argue that an effective political humor prompted the emergence of a new subject, causing certain features of pre-Gezi political subjectivity to recede from active memory. We use a particular case study to illustrate our claim, comparing pre-Gezi Atatürkist anti-government humor with the political humor of Gezi Park. The article concludes by showing that humor, place, and political amnesia changed activists’ interests, moods, and embodied capabilities, reshaping their manner of relating to the city and generating a distinctive subject.

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Protest and resilience on World Peace Island

The nonviolent resistance of a South Korean village against the construction of a naval base

Carole Reckinger

Since 2007, a small fishing village on the island of Jeju in South Korea has been fighting the decision to build a naval base next door to a UNESCO biosphere reserve. This article takes a closer look at the civil disobedience movement, based on the author's primary observations and impressions. Furthermore, it analyzes the environmental, geostrategic, and economic arguments put forward by the government and the protesters' subsequent response. In this fight between David and Goliath, the Gangjeong protest, more than having the actual power to stop the construction, is an example of citizens from all walks of life no longer quietly accepting disregard for democratic values.

Contention

The Multidisciplinary Journal of Social Protest

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Regards croisés

La presse frontiste face aux mouvements des « sans » dans les années 1990

Frédéric Royall

This article considers the ways that elements of the far-right press in France have dealt with the emergence of groups representing marginalized people—the unemployed, undocumented workers, the badly housed—during the 1990s. The first part considers the ideological leanings of the main far-right political group—the National Front—and of its press. The final part of the article analyzes the press's discourse on marginalized people and considers the political significance of such discourse.

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Simon Tormey

This article looks closely at the “crisis of representative democracy,” noting that this crisis is evident across the main variables of interest to political scientists (voting, party membership, trust in politicians, and interest in mainstream politics). The argument here is that the crisis is located not only in short term or contingent factors such as financial crisis, the decadence of the current generation of politicians or the emergence of New Public Management—which often appear as the villains of the piece. It is also located in long term and structural factors linked to the types of social and political interaction associated with “first modernity.” With the displacement of this temporality under post-Fordist, reflexive or “second” modernity, we are witnessing a different set of dynamics shape the terrain of politics. Globalization, individualization, and the proliferation of communicative platforms is taking us away from “vertical” interactions in which representative politics is typical, toward more distributed, flatter, or “horizontal” modes of sociality, working, and organizing—leaving us in a “post-representative” political moment.

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Narrow margins, stern sovereignty

Juxtaposing transnational and local features of Bolivia's crisis

Ton Salman

This article argues that the current Bolivian political crisis is ‘made’ both internally and abroad. Yet it is much more than a simple adding up of the two constituent factors: external influences are always mediated by local actors. Local actors turn these influences into meaningful issues and demands in the Bolivian political context. These actors, in turn, are co-constituted by external forces, as is the case with the prominent indigenous movements in the country: their self- awareness and identity politics in part depend upon support and discourses of a transnational nature. The fact that these indigenous movements insist on sovereignty and self-determination with regard to the use of Bolivia’s natural resources is a case in point. This demand, at the same time, is articulated in a setting in which this sovereignty suffers from tightening margins due to the external obligation to restructure both the state and the economy.