Category Archives: performance

Miquel Vila: “Why Catalonia Failed”

Spanish authorities have recognized the continuing threat to state sovereignty. They have closely monitored the pro-independence movement and Catalan politicians since 2017. The events following the referendum left a scar on the activists and sympathizers of independence. Sympathy for civil disobedience like that seen in 2019 continues to rise. While Madrid has disciplined Catalonia’s politicians, the new generation of movement leaders is growing up with more radical, confrontational tactics and less faith in the electoral process.

Malin Bång: “splinters of ebullient rebellion”

“We are also seeing many influential institutions, organizations, even governments gradually facing collapse when their actions and manifestations are colliding with the core values of the individuals they are made up by. We see how this friction generates a new spine of idealism with the aim to shift back the focus from simplified, one-dimensional explanations to contexts where the full spectrum of intricate details appear and where the multitude of voices that surround us are present.”

 

Billy Anania: “The Viral Artwork Emerging From Hong Kong’s Protests”

“In Hong Kong, the ongoing protest movement immortalizes its political action in real time through art. … Art and politics are uniquely linked in the city, reinforcing the youth-driven struggle against human rights abuses.”

“The gilets jaunes: A question of time”

“A reflection on the re-appropriation of time as the revolution within the yellow vests insurrection.”

Fuat Gursozlu: “Democratic Potential of Creative Political Protest”

“This paper explores in what ways creative protest could deepen democracy. I argue that creative political protest nurtures democracy by generating a peaceful culture of resistance and by providing a peaceful way of responding to politics of intolerance and polarization.”

“What to Wear to Smash the State”

‘Min is an artist. For her, this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of black bloc as a style. It’s tactical, and practical, and it’s also an art form with the effect of building solidarity long after the boots go into the closet. The experience of being enveloped in anonymity helps retain the movement’s ideology, after the balaclavas get folded up and stacked in the drawer.  “In spheres where we don’t have uniforms, we really embrace individuality,” Min said. “But black bloc creates a feeling of ‘Who you are is who I am.’ Of ‘It doesn’t matter who I am when we’re fighting together.’”’

Nick Mirzoeff: “The Historical Failure and Revolutionary Potential of Taking a Knee”

‘When Colin Kaepernick and his allies “take a knee,” they adopt a pose drawn from the lexicon of 18th– and 19th-century abolitionism. … Taking a knee cuts the white emancipator from the frame and thereby creates something new: an abolition image.’

Nathan Heller: “Is there any point to protesting?”

“Still, what has protest done for us lately? Smartphones and social media are supposed to have made organizing easier, and activists today speak more about numbers and reach than about lasting results. Is protest a productive use of our political attention? Or is it just a bit of social theatre we perform to make ourselves feel virtuous, useful, and in the right?”

Mark Bray: “Who are the Antifa?”

‘Militant anti-fascist or “antifa” (pronounced ANtifa) is a radical pan-leftist politics of social revolution applied to fighting the far right. Its adherents are predominantly communists, socialists and anarchists who reject turning to the police or the state to halt the advance of white supremacy. Instead they advocate popular opposition to fascism as we witnessed in Charlottesville.’

Holland Cotter: “In ‘Black Power!,’ Art’s Political Punch and Populist Reach”

Review of an exhibition:  “A cultural infrastructure supporting the new [1960s] art grew. Revolution-minded galleries, bookstores and presses opened in African-American neighborhoods. … But despite its intense motivational energy, ‘Black Power’ as a movement foundered. … Rival factions, driven by ideologies or personalities, came to blows. The United States government subjected movement participants to unrelenting surveillance and attack. A misogynist streak in the movement, as in American society in general, held firm. The single most universal sign of solidarity, black-is-beautiful fashion, was absorbed by the market, including the entertainment industry, and reduced to commercial fodder, a process already at work in the new protest culture today.”