Sian Lazar: «This is not a parade, it’s a protest march»

Intertextuality, citation, and political action on the streets of Bolivia and Argentina

Montag 17.03.14., 18h30 – 20h00, Völkerkundemuseum (Pelikanstr. 40 — Seminarraum PEA E-16), ZURICH | Kontakt → Miriam Wohlgemuth

Street demonstrations are a common form of political action across Latin America. In this paper I explore some aspects of their symbolic and experiential power. I focus on ideas of physical and visual intertextuality and their importance in the construction of political agency. I do so through an examination of the symbolic and aesthetic experiential politics of dances, parades and demonstrations in Bolivia, suggesting that similarities between these practices constitute a kind of citation, which enables each to partake of the symbolic power and resonance of the others. I then move to investigate the political and symbolic work done in Argentine demonstrations by visual (and possibly auditory) citation and intertextuality across practices separated by time.

Dr. Sian Lazar
Lecturer in Social Anthropology, Cambridge University, Fellow and Graduate Tutor, Clare College. ian Lazar’s research focuses on collective politics in two quite different contexts: El Alto, an indigenous and mixed-ethnicity city in the Bolivian Andes, and Buenos Aires, Argentina. She is the author of El Alto, Rebel City: Self and Citizenship in Andean Bolivia, published by Duke University Press in 2008, and editor of the forthcoming Anthropology of Citizenship: A Reader, to be published by Wiley-Blackwell in October 2013. In Buenos Aires, she works with activists in public sector trade unions, paying particular attention to the relationship between individual workers, trade unions and the state, and examining the implications of that relationship for people’s political subjectivities and agency – their citizenship. She has published several journal articles on these themes, exploring similarities and differences between her two fieldsites, and is currently preparing a monograph specifically focused on the Argentine material. 


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