Accepted paper:

Artmani, Occupy, Escrache. Politics and performance in Barcelona


Roger Sansi (Universitat de Barcelona)

Paper short abstract:

In Barcelona, Spain, in the last years many artist collectives have defined their practice as a form of political dissent or “artivism”. These collectives have been accused of reducing politics to performance. This paper will look at their practices, from “artmanis” to “escraches”.

Paper long abstract:

Long Abstract: Since the late nineties, many artistic collectives in Barcelona and Spain in general have defined their practice in terms of active political intervention, in what some have defined as Activism. Originally related to the anti-globalisation movement, this active involvement in politics involved the participation and organisation of demonstrations. Some critics of "artivist" practices dismissed them as achieving the opposite effect from what they intended- instead of making these demonstrations more effective, they turned them into "works of art", "performances" without effect. One of the things I want to discuss in this presentation is this dismissive understanding of "performance" as something ineffectual and anti-political. I will address this question by looking at the different forms in which these "performances" have been integrated into political movements, from the "artmanis" organised within the anti-globalisation movement, to the organisation of the 15-M square occupations in 2011, to the more recent "Escraches", or public acts of accusation to politicians organised by the PAH (Platform of Mortgage Victims) .

panel G50
'All the world's a stage': the social and political potentialities of theatre and performance