This morning, I participated in a workshop organized by the Protest Camps network. We came together in Nottingham (or, in my case, remotely by Skype) to discuss collaboration on the edited collection Protest Camps: Past Tents, Present Tents.
The camp form — a place-based form of protest, a relatively durable claim to space — has not previously been at the center of my work. I have tended to focus on ritualized demonstrations in the street, and specifically commemorative reactivations of political violence and antagonism (in Mexico City, with a focus on Tlatelolco). But my field research since 2010 has, of course, drawn me into contact with several protest camps. See below, a photograph from a camp in Mexico City’s central plaza (the Zócalo) against the return of the PRI and imposición of Enrique Peña Nieto in 2012.
I plan to contribute a chapter on the pedagogical function of protest camps for young people’s politics in post-1968 Mexico City (listed among my works in progress, here). As elsewhere, I will examine how young people have come to obey inherited limits on what counts as politics and, at the same time, actively configure a perceptive field that gives a world of antagonism to sensory experience, facilitating only very specific forms of political participation.