The MeCCSA Social Movements Network held its second major conference, entitled ‘Sites of Protest’, in Canterbury Christ Church University on 29 October 2014. The one-day event was supported by the Social Movements Network, CCCU, and Canterbury’s Media Discourse Group. It was attended by over forty people, and featured papers from twenty-three speakers specialising in the field of protest and the spatial/temporal organisation of dissent. The delegates included colleagues from Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey, South Africa and the United States, with a number of individuals making their contributions through Skype.
Based on a broad interpretation of a ‘site’, which included physical materialisations of protest (such as street assemblies and Occupy), as well as online interventions using social media forms, the conference covered many topics, including the following: the social fabric of ‘networked’ resistance movements, the role of the state in enabling and constraining the activities of insurgent groups like ISIS, songs as a mode of cultural dissent, the role of intellectuals in the interpretation of the student revolts of 1968, the connection between Utopian discourse and advertising texts, the revitalisation of inner-city spaces, the material constitution of Scotland’s Yes’ Campaign, township protest in South Africa, and the relationship between online and ‘offline’ dissent. There were two keynote presentations, given by Katharine Ainger and Stuart Price.
The programme was organised by Ruth Sanz Sabido and introduced by the Head of the School of Media, Art and Design at CCCU, Professor David Bradshaw.
At the end of the conference, the Social Movements Network Committee held a meeting to discuss future activities, which will include the Uprisings, Politics and Emotions participatory workshop, on 9-10 July 2015 at Bournemouth University (contact firstname.lastname@example.org), and the conference entitled Shared Solidarities: the interaction of parties, unions and social movement networks (contact email@example.com), to be held on 10 September 2015, at Sheffield Hallam University. Further details on both events will be circulated in due course.
For further information on the Network and its activities, please contact Ruth Sanz Sabido (firstname.lastname@example.org).