Walking as Political Performance

Conveners: Martha Cecilia García and Adriana Mejía

This workgroup will focus on the idiosyncrasies and historicity of the act of walking as a repertoire of collective action. The group discussion will be developed around three key themes:

  • • Civic mobilizations (rural and urban)
  • • Border crossings -- how are the diverse migrations and mobilizations re-signified and rendered hybrid
  • • Theopolitical pilgrimages


All participants interested in applying for this workgroup must have prior experience with this topic (be it theoretical or practical), and must submit an abstract of their proposal or images of artworks that have broached the theme in question.

Once the work group is configured, group members will revise each of their aforementioned experiences with the topic, using a set of proposed questions as guidelines. These questions correspond both to the three key organizing themes above proposed and to an interest in recognizing the performatic and political power of walking.

  • • How has walking been used as an element of colonization or decolonization?
  • • What are the traits of the actors, identities and walking destinations, the faces and routes of rallies, from celebratory walks of empowerment to walking as an exercise of resistance and spatial reappropriation? • ¿De qué manera existe una teopolítica del caminar, desde la peregrinación expiatoria hasta la marcha de reivindicación social?
  • • In what ways can we map a theopolitics of walking, from the expiatory pilgrimage to the rallies for particular social demans?
  • • How have religious elements and symbols been introduced?
  • • How are the tensions between footprints or traces and walking evidenced?
  • • In what ways is the body positioned in these actions? How does the imposition of violence on the act of walking hinder participation in collective actions?
  • • How is the body clothed and what symbolic meanings are added to the act by exposure?
  • • Is walking an effective mechanism of resistance even when it is mediated by the mainstream media? What happens when they are appropriated, incorporated or legitimized by power structures?
  • • What are the processes of identity formation and transformation when the walker migrates? How are these collective actions transformed or rendered hybrid by the crossing of internal and external borders?

Martha Cecilia García is a sociologist with an MA in Urban Studies from the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, and is a PhD candidate in Latin American Cultural Studies at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolivar in Quito. García is also a member of the CINEP Social Movements team, and an analyst of urban social movements and struggles.

Adriana Mejía Flórez's educational background is in Performing Arts with a specialization in Art Interpretation. Mejía has been active in Colombia's theater scene in various capacitites. She was a professor at the UPN and coordinated art training programs at the Academia Superior de Artes de Bogotá ASAB. She worked at the District Institute of Culture and Tourism as an advisor for Arts and Culture projects. In 2007, she was part of the advisory committee for the Culture Secretariat's cultural rights initiative. She directed the "Women without Expiration Date, 2007 Calendar" project



Adriana Mejía
Anabelle Contreras Castro
Geraldine Lamadrid
Kathleen Buddle-Crowe
Laurie Beth Clark
Luis Carlos Sotelo Castro
María Cándida Fereira
María Célia da Silva Gonçalves
Martha Cecilia García
Martha Judith Dueñas Lopez
Nancy Johana
Raphi Soifer
Rita Nascimento
Vandeir da Silva 
Veronica Wiman