Workshop: (Re)thinking Protest Camps: governance, spatiality, affect and media, University of Leicester, 26 June 2012

Over the last year, urban protest camps and encampments have captured the world’s attention and imagination.  From Tahrir Square to the tent city of Tel Aviv, from the encampments of the Los Indignados in Spain to the Occupy movement, enduring protests have arisen to demand democracy and fight austerity measures.  In addition to these protest camps situated within/outside symbolic targets, other kinds of protest camps have grown as a social movement tactic in recent decades.  These include camps that aim to prevent or disrupt the destruction of a site under social or environmental threat (for example, anti-roads protests, or the solidarity camp that sought to prevent the eviction of Irish Traveller families from their land at Dale Farm in Essex).  There have been camps that draw attention to sites posing a specific social, military or environmental threat (for example, the siting of Climate Camps outside oil-fuelled power stations or peace camps outside military installations). Finally, camps have been organised as counter-summits or ‚convergence spaces‘ (Routledge 2003) in opposition to strategic meetings of global political leaders.

This one-day workshop seeks to examine both these recent and contemporary expressions of protest camps, as well as charting the historical geographies of protest encampments in earlier periods.  The workshop is open to a broad interpretation of ‚protest camps‘ from physical encampments where e live or other continuous ’non-stop‘ protests through to the picket-lines of long-running industrial strikes.  In some cases it is the act of camping, of being in place, that is central, in others it is the duration and creation of a persistent physical infrastructure of protest in situ.

The workshop is primarily structured around four ways of approaching protest camps and theorizing their social, cultural and political impact.  Through four short introductions examining the governance, spatialities, affective terrain of protest camps and media representations of/from those sites, we hope to provide plentiful opportunity for open, yet focused, discussion and debate.

The  „(Re)thinking Protest Camps“ workshop is organised by: Gavin Brown, Fabian Frenzel and Jenny Pickerill, University of Leicester, Anna Feigenbaum, Richmond, the American International University in London, and Patrick McCurdy, University of Ottawa.

The workshop is free of charge and lunch will be provided to registered participants.

To register, please fill in the online registration form for the workshop:

More detailed information is on the following website: