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“What Makes You Move?: The Scream, the Tide, and the Spider as Feminist Performative Articulations in the Work of Ni Una Menos (Not One Woman Less)”
Tuesday, March 5, 2019 @ 5:30 PM
Event made possible thanks to the Anonymous Fund and the Departments of Interdisciplinary Theatre Studies, LACIS, and Spanish and Portuguese.
Social Movements are increasingly performative. This means that organizers place a premium on the form that social mobilization takes, both on and offline, not only as a reflection of the movement’s agenda but as a driver of the movement’s development and vitality. Social media campaigns are launched and sustained through images that become vectors for decentered participation, that is, for protesters to appropriate and circulate networked images such as memes and gifs in their own terms. In this talk, I will discuss the visual performative tactics deployed by the Argentine feminist collective Ni Una Menos (NUM) on urban and digital spaces. Focusing on NUM’s use of discursive and visual images such as the collective scream, the feminist tide, and ‘Operation Spider’ as a response to gender-based violence, I will analyze the function of expressive action as a means of collective empowerment and transnational insurgency. I will track how NUM turned mourning into the seeds of revolutionary change in Argentina and beyond by operating simultaneously as a collective, a constellation of performances, and a transnational mobilization that moves through images of its pulsating articulations and accumulations.
Marcela A. Fuentes is Assistant Professor in the Department of Performance Studies at Northwestern University. Her research focuses on performance and networked communication in contemporary social movements and activisms. Her forthcoming book Performance Constellations: Networks of Protest and Activism in Latin America (University of Michigan Press, Fall 2019) argues that bodily performance and new media are process-based tools that disrupt the workings of oppressive regimes and bring forth opportunities for transformative political processes. Fuentes’s work has been published in the Journal of Latin American Cultural Studies, Text and Performance Quarterly, e-misférica and edited volumes on transnational feminist movements, memory, and social change. She is currently a council member for the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics and an external consultant for the Buenos Aires’ Performance Biennial. From 2016 to 2018 she was a member of the Ni Una Menos collective.