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Accepted Paper:

Janus-faced solidarity: contested temporalities among the “Free Nicaragua” movement in Berlin  
Samira Marty (Binghamton University (SUNY))

Paper short abstract:

This paper explores divergent meanings of transnational solidarity and temporalities in the "Free Nicaragua"-movement in Berlin, a political collective protesting the Nicaraguan regime’s violence.

Paper long abstract:

When mass protests in Nicaragua that erupted in April 2018 were met with extreme forms of state violence, the Nicaraguan communities outside the country were quick to express solidarity with their compatriots. In Berlin, the Free-Nicaragua movement was founded in those early weeks of this ongoing socio-political crisis and became one of the most active protest groups outside Nicaragua. Former supporters of the Nicaraguan regime and recently arrived Nicaraguan political exiles connected with former solidarity brigades who had supported the Nicaraguan revolution in the 1980s. Their protests revived historical links dating back to the Cold War, when the transnational solidarity movement of the former West-Germany with Nicaragua became a crucial support within the Western bloc to the Sandinista regime.

I argue that the protesters’ divergent views on solidarity, tied to national identity versus internationalist cosmology, bring central questions about contested versions of history to the fore: the solidarity brigades and former allies of the Sandinistas reminisce about the 1980s revolutionary decade’s achievements in Nicaragua. Their understanding of the present insurrection-turned crisis is informed by their nostalgic accounts of the past. The younger generation, on the other hand, employs a presentism-lens, rejecting remnants of the past as well as politics as they have gotten to know it altogether. These contrasting views on temporality contribute to debates on the meaning of history in transnational collectives striving for political change.

Panel P047a
Emergent collectivities and practices of commoning in and after conflict
  Session 1 Friday 29 July, 2022, -