From Chapter 4
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Performance Constellations: Networks of Protest and Activism in Latin AmericaMarcela A. Fuentes 2019
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Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-'90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
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