Walking as Political Performance

Convener: 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

Methodology
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?
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