Choreographies of Protest

We are not throwing power off or away in order to be free. Nor do we believe, cynically, that nothing can be done. Our very presence as protestors is evidence of our belief in the possibility of instigating change. Of the 189 different methods of protest surveyed in The Politics of Nonviolent Action, pacifist Gene Sharp identifies twelve varieties of “physical intervention.” As distinct from strikes, boycotts, and symbolic public acts such as marches and theatricals, Sharp categorises sit-ins, walk-ins, pray-ins, and occupations as varieties of intervention “characterised by the interference created by people’s physical bodies.” Read more...

Bodily Activism

Bodily activism works on two fronts: it puts the body at the service of the political but it also activates the body. In so doing, the body becomes a political force. Activating the body is specific to each political context, which differentiates different kinds of body, the black body, the vulnerable body, the silenced body, the demonstrating body, the conspiratorial body. In each case, and in each activist situation, the body foregrounds itself, motioning towards social and political change. Such a body acts in concert with other bodies, with other like-bodies more often than not (but not always). Read more...