Accepted paper:

How do you know if a protest is 'middle class' and why does it matter? The Argentine cacerolazos of 2012-13


Sian Lazar (University of Cambridge)

Paper short abstract:

The paper examines the visual language of mass anti-government demonstrations in Buenos Aires in late 2012. I will show how the claim to be 'the people' was performed in physical space but also contested in later readings of the protests as 'middle class'.

Paper long abstract:

The paper will focus on the mass anti-government demonstrations held in September and November 2012 in Buenos Aires, which were part of a series. These demonstrations were subjected to multiple readings and evaluations by ordinary residents of the city, one of the most important faultlines being how 'middle class' the demonstrators were. In this paper I will explore why that should have become such an issue, seeking to place the Argentine protests in something of a regional (and possibly even global) context. Specifically though I will examine the visual language of the protesters and their audiences, and analyse ways that the claim to be 'the people' was performed in physical space.

panel P084
The worldwide urban mobilizations: conundrums of 'democracy', 'the middle class' and 'the people'. Supported by Focaal and the IUAES Commission on Global Transformation and Marxian Anthropology