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Socially engaged art and theory

The avant garde is dead, or so the story goes for many leftists and capitalists alike. But so is postmodernism an outmoded paradigm in these times of neoliberal austerity, neocolonial militarism and ecological crisis. Rejecting ‘end of ideology’ post-politics, Vanguardia delves into the changing praxis of socially engaged art and theory in the age of the Capitalocene. Reflecting on the major events of the last decade, from anti-globalisation protest, Occupy Wall Street, the Maple Spring, Strike Debt and the Anthropocene, to the Black Lives Matter and MeToo campaigns, Vanguardia puts forward a radical leftist commitment to the revolutionary consciousness of avant-garde art and politics.

From the globalisation of the movement (1968) to the movement against globalisation (2001)

Throughout its brief history, photography has had a close relationship to social movements. From the Commune of Paris in 1871, the first political uprising to be captured by camera, to the 1990s anti-globalisation movement, the photographic medium has played a crucial role in political struggles. The book reflects critically on the theory of photography and the social movements themselves. It draws on a range of humanities disciplines, including photography theory and history, social movement theory, political theory, cultural history, visual culture, media studies and the history and theory of art. The book takes as a starting point 1968 - a year that witnessed an explosion of social movements worldwide and has been interpreted as a turning point for political practice and theory. The finishing point is 2001 - a signpost for international politics due to September 11 and a significant year for the movement because of the large-scale anti-capitalist protests in Genoa. Within these chronological limits, the book focuses on a selection of distinctive instances in which the photographic medium intersects with the political struggle. The three case studies are not the only pertinent examples, by any means, but they are important ones, not only historically and politically, but also iconographically. They are the student and worker uprising in France in May 1968 and two moments of the contemporary anti-capitalist movement, the indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico and the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa in 2001.

Reflections on contemporary anarchism, anti-capitalism and the international scene
Karen Goaman

visible expressions of the Anarchist Travelling Circus at economic summits and beyond are analysed in terms of their significance in allowing a central drama to unfold; as examples of ‘modern pilgrimages’ with the capacity to defamiliarise the familiar; and as examples of an unlicensed carnival by inversion. Anarchism is a central characteristic of the ‘anti-capitalist/anti-globalisation’ movement, though much of the mainstream Left has had trouble acknowledging this. Another central feature of the anti-capitalist movement is the significance of grassroots movements of

in Changing anarchism
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European integration and globalisation
Andrew W.M. Smith

7 A world of wine: European integration and globalisation The meaningful narrative of the CRAV’s history ends in 1992 with the condemnation of CRAV activists as ‘terrorists’ by Colonel Weber. Yet it is also possible to connect the CRAV and the Défense movement into the larger anti-globalisation movement in France and demonstrate the bonds between the core of the CRAV in 1992 and the broader ‘new peasant left’. The CRAV did not fade away in 1992 nor did the problems of the Midi viticole neatly resolve themselves.1 Indeed, the overarching narrative of the

in Terror and terroir
Saul Newman

, activist networks and protest movements that come under the rather inadequate heading of the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement,1 can be seen as an example of a new form of radical politics that calls into question the current state capitalist global order and the neo-liberal ideology which animates it. Moreover, this ‘movement’ or ‘movement of movements’ – as activists like to refer to it – represents new forms of political subjectivity, ethics and practice that go beyond both the class paradigms of Marxism and the identity politics of the ‘new social movements’. In this

in Unstable universalities
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Antigoni Memou

Conclusion T h e global wave of mobilisations that emerged in the late 1990s and challenged the dominance of neoliberalism bore considerable similarities with the student and worker opposition to the dominant political order in France in 1968. While May ’68 and the anti-globalisation movement were symptoms of and were formed by specific historical and socio-political conditions, they both interrupted periods of prosperity for Western capitalist societies, challenging the stability of the dominant system. The two movements also shared common elements in terms of

in Photography and social movements
Marc James Léger

anything, it breaks with the established circuits of the art world, along with its usual methods of art description, evaluation and consecration. The exhibition A World Where Many Worlds Fit , a presentation of anti-globalisation protest artworks curated by the Austrian artist Oliver Ressler, provided an opportunity to reflect on the stakes of contemporary anti-capitalist art, especially as the latter coalesced around the anti-globalisation movement. First shown in the context of the 2008 Taipei Biennial and in 2010 at the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop’s University in

in Vanguardia
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Saul Newman

emerging today that present fundamental challenges to the way we think about radical politics and which call into question this perhaps over-hasty dismissal of a universal idea of emancipation. The first is the so-called ‘war on terror’ and the new forms of power, domination and ideology that are emerging with it. The second is what is broadly termed the ‘anti-globalisation’ movement, which is still in its nascent state, and which already represents a significant political challenge to global capitalism. The third issue – perhaps less concrete than the previous too, yet

in Unstable universalities
Thomas Mathiesen

of the active and lively organisations established in that period, which were oriented towards abolition and/or change of prisons, no longer exist.8 The feeling is that such a time will never come again. This is not true, argues the Swedish sociologist Stellan Vinthagen. Contrasting the bleak story of our own time, there is an alternative story. A story of resistance in our time. Vinthagen forcefully points out that in terms of numbers alone there are probably more people engaged in critical protests today than there were in the 1970s.9 Look at the anti-globalisation

in Incarceration and human rights
Open Access (free)
Rethinking anarchist strategies
James Bowen

6 James Bowen Moving targets: rethinking anarchist strategies Introduction In the anarchist movement in Britain and across the world today, there are a number of reasonably prolific publishing projects and a few moderately successful groups and organisations. It is even true that the word anarchism has lost much of its popular perception as a source of terror and chaos, particularly in ‘anti-globalisation’ and environmental circles; but anarchism per se simply does not have an impact on the vast majority of the population. This is not to say that change is not

in Changing anarchism