MoMA R&D

Salon 23 On Protest

The large-scale demonstrations against the Iraq War in 2003; the Iranian Green Movement of 2009; the outburst of popular protests that engulfed the Middle East and North Africa from 2010 to 2012; the Istanbul’s Gezi Park protests in 2013; the Hong Kong pro-democracy Umbrella Movement in 2014. And, if we remain within American borders, it was September 2011 when Occupy Wall Street arose in Zuccotti Park, in lower Manhattan, spearheading a global movement that in just two months would have reached more than nine hundred cities worldwide. Finally, more recently, millions of people have marshalled demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and chanted for female empowerment at the Women’s March. These figures, representatives of just a portion of the protests that take place every day across the globe, are telling of the moment of sharp civic discontent that we are currently living in. What is more, they confront us with challenging questions regarding the way in which we choose to (or not) affirm our political agency as individuals. As an illuminating article by Nathan Heller, cited below, put it, we demand to know: is there any point to protesting? In this salon, we navigated some of these pressing issues with the help of an outstanding group of panelists that have learned about the concept and practice of protest also beyond the lecture room.

Some of the questions we strived to answer: Is there any point to protesting anymore? Have we gained anything from it lately? Do we protest to demand structural changes; or is it just a bit of civic duty that we perform to make ourselves feel virtuous, useful, and in the right? Are marches and demonstrations productive ways to use our political attention; or are they rather what skeptics would call “folk politics”, a mere distraction from the real challenges of today’s world? Does the act of claiming the streets still retain its power in the age of smartphones and social media? What are the features of contemporary activism, and how can we assess its impact? Were protests greater in the past? Have new technologies made it easier for people to mobilize; or have they numbed radical political zeal? Has protesting become mainstream - a habit, more than a solution? Does contemporary art have the power to defy the status quo; or is it instead a kind of opiate of the people – an obstacle to real political knowledge? Can aesthetic beauty and political saliency coexist? What is the role of art and design in movements for social change? Can collective creativity drive political activism?

This salon took place on February 28th, 2018.

Speakers

Reading Resources

AN ANATOMY OF PROTEST

Brinton, Crane, The Anatomy of Revolution, Vintage (1965)

Graeber, David, Direct Action: An Ethnography, AK press (2009)

Khatib, Kate, Killijoy, Margaret and McGuire Mike (eds.), We Are Many: Reflections on Movement Strategy from Occupation to Liberation, AK Press (2012)

Rediker, Marcus and Linebaugh, Peter, The Many-Head Hydra: The Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic, Verso (2002)

Shukaitis, Stevphen and Graeber, David (eds.), Constituent Imagination: Militant Investigation // Collective Theorization, AK Press (2009)

Traugott, Mark, The Insurgent Barricades, University of California Press (2010)

Vaneigem, Raoul, The Revolution of Everyday Life, PM Press (2012)

Ward Colin, Anarchism: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press (2004)

Zinn, Howard, A People’s History of the United States: 1942 to the Present , Harper & Row (2005)

THE ROOTS OF PROTEST

Cobb, Jelani, The Matter of Black Lives, The New Yorker (03.14.2016)

Davis, Angela, Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement, Haymarket Books (2016)

Halberstam, Judith, The Queer Art of Failure, Duke University Press (2011)

Joyce, Patrick, Visions of the People, Cambridge University Press (1991)

Moore, Barrington, Injustice: the Social Bases of Obedience and Revolt, Macmillan (1978)

Schwartz, Mattathias, Pre-Occupied, The New Yorker (11.28.2011)

Skocpol, Theda, States and Social Revolution, Cambridge University Press (1979)

PROTEST IN THE INTERNET AGE

Coleman, Gabriella, From Internet Farming to Weapons of the Geek, Current Anthropology, vol.58, no15, pp.92-102 (2017)

Greenwald, Dara and McPhee, Josh, Signs of Change: Social Movement Cultures, 1960s to Now, AK Press (2010)

Holloway, John, Change the World Without Taking Power: The Meaning of Revolution Today, Pluto Press (2002)

Naughton, John and Howard, Philip, Pax Technica, Talking Politics (09.03.2017)

Tufekci, Zeynep, Twitter and Tear Gas: The Power and Fragility of Networked Protest, Yale University Press (2017)

CHANGING THE STATUS QUO (OR NOT?)

Amnesty International, The Arab Spring: five years on (2016)

Dunn, John, ‘The success and failure of modern revolutions’, in Political Obligation in its Historical Context, by J. Dunn, Cambridge University Press (1980)

Engler, Mark, and Engler, Paul, In Praise of Impractical Movements, Dissent Magazine (03.09.2016)

Fox Piven, Frances, Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (2006)

Kanngieser, Anja, Experimental Politics and the Making of the Worlds, Routledge (2013)

Mirzoeff, Nick, The Power of Protest One Year After the #J20 Art Strike, Hyperallergic (01.19.2018)

Nineham, Chris, Ten demonstrations that changed the world, Counterfire (05.27.2015)

Tolentino, Jia, The Radical Possibility Of The Women’s March, The New Yorker, (01.22.2017)

Studs Terkel’s 1963 Train Ride to Washington

CHALLENGING PROTEST MOVEMENTS

Chao, Grace, The Privilege of Protest, The Harvard Crimson (09.18.2017)

Hardt, Michael and Negri, Antonio, Assembly, Oxford University Press (2017)

Heller, Nathan, Is There Any Point To Pretesting?, The New Yorker (21.08.2017)

Srnicek, Nick and Williams, Alex, Inventing the Future: Postcapitalism and a World Without Work, Verso (2015)

Turbulence Collective,What Would It Mean to Win?, PM Press (2010)

ART AND DISSENT

Bryan-Wilson, Julia, Art Workers: Radical Practice in the Vietnam War Era, University of California Press (2009)

Grindon, Gavin, Protest Camps and White Cubes (09.28.2012)

Helguera, Pablo, Education for Socially Engaged Art: A Materials and Techniques Handbook, Jorge Pinto Books, (2011)

Lampert, Nicolas, A People’s Art History of the United States: 250 Years of Activist Art and Artists Working in Social, The New Press (2013)

Krysiak, Eva, Ai Weiwei on the project that awoke his political voice, The Start podcast (02.15.2018)

Mosquera, Gerardo, Tania Bruguera: Artivism and Repression in Cuba*, Walkerart (06.17.2015)

Perry, Grayson, Nice Rebellion, Welcome In!, The Reith Lectures (11.02.2013)

Sholette, Gregory, Dark Matter: Art and Politics in the Age of Enterprise Culture, University of Chicago Press (2011)

PROTEST IN PHOTOGRAPHY

Baldwin, James, with photographs by Steve Schapiro, The Fire Next Time, Taschen (2017)

Buberl, Brigitte, Benedict J. Fernandez protest: photographs, 1963-1995, Edition Stemmle (1996)

Carpenter, Zoë, PHOTOS: Since Standing Rock, 56 Bills Have Been Introduced in 30 States to Restrict Protests, The Nation (02.16.2018)

Crow, Thomas and Sa'adah, Anne, with photographs by Serge Hambourg, Protest in Paris, 1968, Dartmouth College (2006)

Duncan, David Douglas, I protest!, New American Library (1968)

Higgs, Matthew and Noble, Paul, Protest & survive, Whitechapel Art Gallery (2000)

Kasher, Steven, Protest photographs / Chauncey Hare, Steven Kasher Gallery (2009)

Ross, Judith, Protest the war, Pace MacGill (2007)

Linfield, Susie, The Cruel Radiance: Photography and Political Violence, University of Chicago Press (2012)

Protests past and present, CNN (07.18.2016)

Foto8

SIGN OF RESISTANCE

Flood, Catherine, British posters : advertising, art & activism, V&A Publishing (2012)

Flood, Catherine and Grindon, Gavin, Disobedient Objects, V&A Publishing (2014)

Kunzle, David, Posters of protest; the posters of political satire in the U.S. 1966-1970, Triple R Press (1971)

Siegler, Bonnie, Signs of Resistance, Artisan (2018)

PROTEST: DYO

Anonymous, The Occupation Cookbook: Or the Model of the Occupation of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb, Minor Compositions (2011)

Bell, Jess and Spalding, Dan, Security Culture for Activists, The Ruckus Society (n.d.)

Bravo, Kyle, Making Stuff and Doing Things, Microcosm Publishing (2005)

Carrot Workers Collective, Surviving Internships: A Counter Guide to Free Labour in the Arts (n.d.)

Crimethinc Collective, Recipes For Disaster: An Anarchist Cookbook (2012)

Duncombe, Stephen (ed.), The Cultural Resistance Reader, Verso (2002)

Feigenbaum, Anna, Frenzel, Fabian and McCurdy, Patrick, Protest Camps, The University of Chicago Press (2013)

Gee, Tim, Counterpower: Making Change Happen, World Changing (2011)

Gordon, Uri, Anarchy Alive! Anti-authoritarian Politics from Practice to Theory, Pluto Press (2007)

Kauffman, L.A., Direct Action: Protest and the Reinvention of American Radicalism, Verso (2017)

Lunghi, Alessio and Wheeler, Seth (eds.), Occupy Everything! Reflections on Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, Minor Compositions (2011)

McIntyre, Iain, How to Make Trouble and Influence People: Pranks, Hoaxes, Graffiti and Political Mischief Making from Across Australia, PM Press (2009)

Notes From Nowhere, We Are Everywhere: The Irresistible Rise of Global Anti-capitalism, Verso (2003)

Tactical Tech, The Info-Activism: How to Guide (2013)

The Laboratory of Insurrectionary Imagination, A User’s Guide to (Demanding) the Impossible, Minor Compositions (2011)

Trapèze Collective, Do It Yourself: A Handbook for Changing Our World, Pluto Press (2007)

Reed, T.V., The Art of Protest: Culture and Activism from the Civil Rights Movement to the Streets of Seattle, University of Minnesota Press (2005)

Ricketts, Aidan, The Activists' Handbook, Zed Books (2013)

Ruckus Society, Action Strategy: A How-To Guide (n.d.)

Seeds for Change, Briefings and guides for actions, meetings, co-ops and campaigns

EMBODIED PROTESTS

Bordo, Susan, ‘The Body and the Reproduction of Femininity’, in Unbearable weight, University of California Press (1993)

Frase, Nancy, Feminism, Capitalism and the Cunning of History, New Left Review, vol.56, pp. 97-117, (2009)

Preciado, Paul B., Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, Feminist Press (2013)

Sasson-Levy, Orna and Rapoport, Tamar, Body, Gender, and Knowledge in Protest Movements: The Israeli Case, Gender and Society, vol.7, no3, pp.379-403 (2003)

Feminist Time: A Conversation, Grey Room, vol.31, pp.32-67 (2003)

ARCHIVES, MEMORY AND DISSIDENCE

Cullors, Patrisse and Bandele, Asha, When They Call You a Terrorist: A Black Lives Matter Memoir, St. Martin’s Press (2018)

Drabinski, Emily, Queering the Catalog: Queer Theory and the Politics of Correction, The Library Quarterly, vol.83, no2, pp.94-111 (2013)

Fowkes, Stuart, Protest & Politics: a global sound map of protests, Cities and Memory (2017)

Joseph, Jamal, ‘Man-child in Revolution Land’ in Look for Me in the Whirlwind: From the Panther 21 to 21st-Century Revolutions, by D. B. Wahad, J. Joseph, S. Odinga, M. Abu-Jamal, PM Press (2017)

Mailer, Norman,The Armies of the Night: History as a Novel, the Novel as History, New American Library (1968)

Phaidon Editors, You Had Better Make Some Noise (2018)

Digital Feminist Archives - Barnard Center for Research on Women

Interference archive

858.ma - An archive of resistance

CYCLES OF PROTEST

Awad, Nihad, What American Muslims Can Do Today With Dr. King’s Lessons, Time (01.15.2018)

Broadbent, Jeffrey, Environmental Politics in Japan: Networks of Power and Protest, Cambridge University Press (1998)

della Porta, Donatella, Protest Cycles and Waves, Blackwell Publishing Ltd (2013)

Hung, Ho-Fung, Protest with Chinese Characteristics, Columbia University Press (2011)

Massoud, Amani, What to wear on a revolution, Mashallah News (01.28.11)

McAdam, Doug, “‘Initiator’ and ‘Spinoff Movements’: Diffusion Processes in Protest Cycles”, in Repertoires and Cycles of Collective Actionn, ed. by M. Traugott, Duke University Press (1995)

Tarrow, Sidney, Democracy and disorder: protest and politics in Italy, 1965–1975, Oxford University Press (1989)

Tarrow, Sidney, Cycles of Collective Action: Between Moments of Madness and the Repertoire of Contention, Social Science History, vol.17, no2, pp.281-307 (1993)

ON (NON) VIOLENCE

Ackermann, Peter and DuVall, Jack, A Force More Powerful: A Century of Nonviolent Conflict, Palgrave (2000)

Arendt, Hannah, On Violence, Harcourt Publishers (1970)

Bennetts, Marc, The art of protest in Putin’s Russia, Politico (10/9/15)

Butler, Judith, Protest, Violent and Nonviolent, Public Books (10.13.2017)

Davis, Angela, Interview by Barry Callaghan in California State Prison (1972)

Holmes, Rachel, Which branch of feminism won women the vote? We all did, The Guardian (02.06.2018)

Lawrence, Bruce and Karim, Aisha, On Violence: A Reader, Duke University Press (2007)

Mayer, Arno, The Furies: Violence and Terror in the French and Russian Revolutions, Princeton University Press (2001)

Wydra, Harald, The recurrence of violence, Sociology Compass, vol.1, no2, pp.183-194 (2008)

FORMS AND PLATFORMS OF RESISTANCE

Herrera, Juan Felipe, Notes on the Assemblage, City Lights (2015)

O’Hara, Mary, In the 21st century, comedy is our greatest tool for progressive change, Quartz (08.24.2016)

Subcomandante Marcos, Our Word is Our Weapon: Selected Writings, Seven Stories Press (2002)

Pergament, Danielle, How Flowers Became a Powerful Symbol in Times of Resistance, Allure (05.19.2017)

Sleeter, Christine, Multicultural Education as Social Activism, State University of New York (1996)

Access Now

NGOInaBox

Radical Teacher

Resist!ca | appropriate technology

Deep Green Resistance

WATCH

Anderson, Lindsay, if….(1968), Memorial Enterprises (1968)

Bertolucci, Bernardo, The Dreamers, TFM Distribution (2003)

Biberman, Herbert, Salt of the Earth, Independent Productions (1954)

Eisenstein, Sergei, *Stachka, Mosfilm (1925)

Moreira Salles, João, In The Intense Now, Icarus Films (2018)

Vicari, Daniele, Diaz – Don’t Clean Up This Blood, Fandango (2012)