Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance
“Make Love Not War,” “Soyez réalistes, demandez l’impossible,” “Keine Macht für Niemanden,” “We are the 99%”: the history of the last 50 years has been accompanied by a constant flow of statements, practices and declarations of dissatisfaction with regard to the prevailing order.
These slogans mark moments when dissent has been able to reach from the margins of society into its very centerbeginning as something mostly unorganized and unruly in real or virtual space, sometimes violent, rarely controllable and suddenly erupting into the mainstream. Masterfully and creatively drawing on contemporary signs and symbols, subverting and transforming them to engender new aesthetics and meanings, the legendary moments of 20th-century protest opened up spaces that eluded control. Irony, subversion and provocation pricked small but palpable pinholes in the controlling systems of rule.
Protest takes a wide-ranging approach to the practice of protest, bringing together contributors from different disciplines and from around the globe. Social, historical, sociological and political-scientific perspectives play as much of a role in this publication as approaches that draw on image theory, popular culture, cultural studies and the arts. Simultaneously historical and contemporary, the book also explores such present-day developments as the virtualization of activism, the relationship of the virtual and the fictional, and the exploitation of these trends in politics by power-holders of all shades. A timely publication, Protest: The Aesthetics of Resistance explores marginalized communities’ practices of resistance and reflects on the past, present and future of protest.
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