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Prof. Dr. Helen Petrovsky
(Russische Akademie der Wissenschaften, Moskau)
Indignation: Disturbance of the Sign
The paper introduces a purely physical dimension in the interpretation of protest. Among other things, it resorts to the Deleuzian notion of “mot d’ordre” that stands both for “slogan” and “command”. Deleuze describes the incorporeal transformations that the mot d’ordre produces. They are the realization of the speech act (and/or performative) found in every statement. These transformations embrace whole social groups. The “sentiment” of the latter might be accounted for by the “structures of feeling” (R. Williams) that describe changing states of things. Such structures depersonalize sentiment, at the same time paying tribute to shared desires, anxieties and hopes that disclose a (turbulent) collective in the making. Any disturbance displaces the sign as we know it, so a dynamic model of the sign has to be developed if we wish to remain faithful to protest as affect.
Prof. Dr. Anne Siegetsleitner
Indignation as the reaction to an experienced violation of social or moral norms is a strong feeling. This is especially the case when indignation arouses by the experienced violation of norms central to one’s identity. Norms relating to gender identity are a prominent example. Some take respective violations as an offence to honor. I will scrutinize these conceptual connections by the attacks on women in New Year’s Eve in Cologne. People were outraged over these attacks. Some men felt an offence to their masculine honor because they experienced a violation of fundamental patriarchal norms. Consequently, they wanted to defend their honor by defending the honor of “their” women. Others expressed righteous indignation about the involved patriarchal norms on the part of the attackers in Cologne as well as on the part of the “defenders”. Both groups alike violated fundamental norms of their non-patriarchal gender identity. After having provided an analysis, I will ask whether we should link the latter case of indignation to honor, too.
Prof. Dr. Karsten Stueber
(College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA)
(University of East Anglia, Norfolk, UK)
The Shift from Indignation to Solidarity
In 2007 the generalized economic, social and political crisis let to the disruption of social and political identities and loosened the ties between citizens and economic and political elites. The dislocation of the existing identities opened up the space for the articulation of new forms of collectiveness and led to contentious political action. In Greece, the 2011 Indignant protests were followed by the creation of local solidarity groups trying to offer relief from the humanitarian crisis at stake. Through metonymic displacements from the site of the protests to the solidarity networks, demands, practices and meanings were articulated in an attempt to construct a ‘people’ standing against the political and economic elites of the country. This paper will discuss the shift from indignation to solidarity and the horizontal and vertical organizational structures established in this process.