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Thinking about other ways of telling the world: the necessity of activist/engaged anthropology in a global world 
Jasmin Immonen (University of Wales Trinity Saint David)
Henrike Neuhaus (Goldsmiths University of London)
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Advocacy and Activism
Monday 14 September, 14:30-16:00, 16:30-18:00

Short Abstract:

The panel invites papers and visual material dealing with engaged/activist anthropology, its successes and ambiguities, asking is the passive form of creating a body of literature to support activism sufficient anymore as a way of extending anthropology's impact on other disciplines.

Long Abstract

In a world described as increasingly polarised in terms of the distribution of wealth and public opinion, yet more connected than ever, there is a growing need to generate discussion on activism as another way of 'telling the world' and forming interdisciplinary collaborations. While neoliberal restructurings characterizing the latter half of the past century have been associated with ensuing multiple crises, alternative forms of social or collective action, grass-roots initiatives and the role of human rights as an ethical set of guidelines have produced tangible results, opening up new spaces for exercising rights. Activism can be goal oriented such as applying alternative pedagogy in peripheral schools (Grinberg & Dafunchio 2016), or forming an autonomous territory in order to protect communities against environmental degradation. But we argue that it is also useful to consider under the term 'activism' those passive yet creative forms that take place, such as exploring and occupying the street as a space of survival and reinventing means of livelihood. It is in the new forms of doing things, open ended questions, new language and concepts where the power of activism lays. What kinds of new actors have emerged in the realm of activism? How has activism reshaped meanings? What kinds of activisms have emerged with digital media? How can universities take an active role in engaging and doing activism without losing their anthropological/academic rigour? We invite both written and visual work that deal with such tensions.

Accepted papers: