19 Dissident Bodies: Activism Beyond the State


This workgroup explores collective practices, spaces, temporalities, and movements that surface as alternatives to global homogenization and the neoliberal project in particular.

From the experience of the groups that participants work with, this work group focuses on embodied practices that expose and counter the complicit role of the state in the spread of neoliberalism and/or creative practices that spark grassroots emancipatory social transformation. We question the idea of "the citizen," the unchecked universality of human rights, the State as the ultimate unifying force for social organizing, the fantasies of uprooted global thought, and the current meltdown of capitalism. Our bodies mark our dissent, our dissent marks our bodies.

We hope to reflect on revolutionary possibilities for the future, looking at examples of social practices that are working today throughout the hemisphere as glimpses of that "other world" that is possible to build.

Format and Structure:

The workgroup will be structured like a popular assembly or community meeting. Each participant will be expected to give a short presentation (which can be a verbal report or story, or formal power point) on their struggles and activities, with an eye to the following questions:

  • How do grassroots interventions serve as examples to concretize and critique more elusive political and economic forces?
  • How can communities activate their traditions and organizational structures to successfully engage or participate in symbolic battles?
  • How can we think of performance through activism and activism through performance?
  • How can performing activism activate popular repertoires of self-governance?
  • How can community activism circumvent/overturn governmental corruption and intransigence?

Our goals involve building on our work in Encuentro 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2016 by expanding networks of social justice activists in the hemisphere, exchanging performative tactics deployed in our varied struggles, and identifying critical points of leverage that open opportunities for revolutionary change. Humor and noise are welcome.

Languages spoken/understood by conveners:

English; but we negotiate and use Spanish and Portuguese.


Peter Kulchyski is a professor of Native Studies at the University of Manitoba, Canada. He has been a member of the Hemi Council and co-director of the Canadian Consortium on Performance and Politics in the Americas. His most recent book is called Report of an Inquiry into an Injustice: Begade Shuhtagotine and the Sahtu Treaty (UManitobaP 2018).

Praba Pilar is a diasporic Colombian artist, working in disrupting the overwhelmingly passive participation in the contemporary ‘cult of the techno-logic.’ Shaped by collective resistance to the colonial project throughout the Americas, Pilar focuses her practice on projects challenging complex state/corporate systems of control, domination, and death. She is presently touring her performance work the NO!!!BOT; giving talks on "The Extractocene;" and most recently published Idle No More: Grounding the Corrientes of Hemispheric Resistencia with Dr. Alex Wilson, and Situating the Web of the Necro-Techno Complex: The Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno. More info available at https://www.prabapilar.com/


  • Ana Beatriz Figueiredo Tavares
  • Anne Bluethenthal
  • Erika Bülle Hernández
  • Gervais Marsh
  • Joshua Truett
  • Juan Suarez
  • Lorena López
  • Manuel Alejandro Parra Sepulveda
  • Marcos Antônio Alexandre
  • Nuria Carton de Grammont
  • Paula Valentina Roa Dueñas
  • Roberson de Sousa Nunes
  • Rossella Matamoros
  • Shannon Hughes
  • Tatiana Navallo
  • Timothy Maton
  • Viviane Luiza da Silva