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The Aesthetics of Protest: Visual Culture, Performance and Social Media 2
14 March
11:00 - 12:30
NIAS
Korte Spinhuissteeg
Conference Room
By invitation

Political Voice and the Aesthetics of Protest

NIAS Seminar

Political scientist Aidan McGarry will discuss how protest movements allow marginalized communities to articulate a political voice.

About the Seminar

The democratic inclusion of marginalized groups is a paradoxical and vexing problem of modern democratic societies because representative democracy is built on utilitarian principles which favour the majority. Around the world, some sections of society are often silenced and actively excluded, including women, migrants, refugees, LGBTIQ, Jews, Muslims, and others. The voice of the majority is used to contain, diminish and oppress minorities with devastating results including institutional racism, violence, erasure from public life, socio-economic exclusion, and gender inequality.

This talk explores how marginalized groups articulate their political voices and the impact of this on democratic processes. It will begin by exploring what political voice is and why it is important, particularly for groups who can be considered as marginalized or excluded from representative democracy. Building on the idea of political voice as a value it will examine how agency underpins the expression and amplification of political voice, foregrounding the role of protest movements. I will show that political voice is a condition, mechanism and goal of democratic societies.

My presentation will unpack and explore the conceptual foundations of political voice by drawing on three strands of my research on marginalized groups. First, it will examine how the articulation of political voice constitutes protestors during the Gezi park uprising in Istanbul in 2013 and assesses how social media and visual culture help to create a new form of collectivity in a public space. Second, I will assess how Roma communities, the most marginalized and discriminated group in Europe, articulate their political voices in a transnational political context at the Council of Europe. Third, I will develop ideas of autonomy and visibility for LGBTI people in India drawing on ongoing research on Mumbai Pride.

Discussant is Dr. Huub Van Baar (Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany).

About NIAS Seminars

NIAS Seminars are aimed to stimulate scientific cross-pollination within the NIAS academic community. Attendance is by invitation only.