Street Protests, Electronic Disturbance, Smart Mobs: Dislocations of Resistance


We take part in an urban street protest, and we experience the activity of protesting as a peculiar transformation of the ground underneath our feet. While protesters occupy the street space, the other road users, such as shoppers, tourists and business people, are engulfed by the protesting crowd and seem strangely out of place in the very same location that a moment before seemed to be theirs. Drivers are held at bay by the police. The street space, whose very ability to function depends on a careful management of movement, of attention, of desires, a space where everything must happen for a reason and must remain reasonably predictable—that street space becomes an altogether different place …

From the paper presented at the Media Transatlantic IV – Traffic conference at the University of Paderborn, Germany (book publication forthcoming). A draft version of the full paper can be accessed here.

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