Sam Halvorsen (University of Cambridge)
Grace Livingstone (University of Cambridge)
Iberia Pérez (Latin America C-MAP Fellow, Museum of Modern Art)
This two-day conference brings together researchers across multiple disciplines interested in new spaces of resistance and protest that have opened up in Latin America in recent years. Much attention has been given to the left-wing 'Pink Tide' that swept across governments in much of the region, including Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Venezuela. During this time, grassroots actors continued to innovate with new forms of resistance that have existed in a complex relation with state actors: at times in cooperation but also through co-optation and repression. Most recently, with a (re)turn to conservative and neoliberal governments, new political coalitions and actors have had to mobilise quickly and improvise with new repertoires of contention, from the new media collectives in crisis-ridden Brazil to multi-sector alliances against the hike in utility fees in Argentina.
2018 marks a unique opportunity to reflect on new spaces of resistance in Latin America – those opened up during years of 'post-neoliberal' development, and those even newer spaces created in response to recent transformations in state-based politics. Bringing together leading scholars working on Latin America and resistance the conference will draw out emerging research agendas and discuss a range of questions, including:
- What new spaces of resistance have been opened up in Latin America and what is their broader significance?
- What role has art and social media played as spaces of protest?
- How have different tactics been shared and travelled across the region and beyond?
- How have social movements related to the state? What have been the benefits and costs for co-operating with progressive governments? What have state-led popular participation initiatives in Latin America achieved? What lessons can be learned?
- What new spaces of resistance are being created in opportunities to the recent right turn, especially in Argentina and Brazil?
- What broader lessons can be learned from the successes and failures of recent protests in Latin America?
Day 1 will explore the theme of 'grassroots innovations' and is focused around three panels: new geographies of contention; art and resistance; new digital technologies and resistance. It will end with a talk from our keynote speaker Professor Maristella Svampa (UNLP/Conicet, Argentina).
Day 2 will explore the theme of 'social movements and the state' and panels will consider: gender, race and violence; resisting the new right; and social movements and the state.
Supported by the Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH), and the University of Cambridge's Centre of Latin American Studies.
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