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date: 16 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores how the study of material culture brings new perspectives to protest and activism in the contemporary world. Its focus is the peace and environmental protests in Britain during the last thirty years, although the chapter also draws upon examples from other times and places. The chapter is organized into five themes: the use of the body in the performance of protest; the creation of novel networks of humans and things through activism; demonstrations as acts of bearing witness to power; the histories and technologies that provide the foundations and legitimacy for protest; and finally the politics of researching activism. Archaeologies of protest can force established authorities to recognize repressed voices, they can challenge the myths and ideologies of activism, and above all they can be a process of revealing power as it was, is, and can be.

Keywords: protest, activism, peace, environmental, body, network, demonstration, technology, place, power

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