Protestors across the world use aesthetics in order to communicate their ideas and ensure their voices are heard. This book looks at protest aesthetics, which we consider to be the visual and performative elements of protest, such as images, symbols, graffiti, art, as well as the choreography of protest actions in public spaces. Through the use of social media, protestors have been able to create an alternative space for people to engage with politics that is more inclusive and participatory than traditional politics. This volume focuses on the role of visual culture in a highly mediated environment and draws on case studies from Europe, Thailand, South Africa, USA, Argentina, and the Middle East in order to demonstrate how protestors use aesthetics to communicate their demands and ideas. It examines how digital media is harnessed by protestors and argues that all protest aesthetics are performative and communicative.
The project of European integration has undergone a succession of shocks, beginning with the Eurozone crisis, followed by reactions to the sudden growth of irregular migration, and, most recently, the Coronavirus pandemic. These shocks have politicised questions related to the governance of borders and markets that for decades had been beyond the realm of contestation. For some time, these questions have been spilling over into domestic and European electoral politics, with the rise of “populist” and Eurosceptic parties. Increasingly, however, the crises have begun to reshape the liberal narrative that have been central to the European project. This book charts the rise of contestation over the meaning of “Europe”, particularly in light of the Coronavirus crisis and Brexit. Drawing together cutting edge, interdisciplinary scholarship from across the continent, it questions not merely the traditional conflict between European and nationalist politics, but the impact of contestation on the assumed “cosmopolitan” values of Europe.