Demonstrates the power of embodied and digital networks in confronting neoliberal sociopolitical regimes in the Americas
Performance Constellations maps transnational protest movements and the dynamics of networked expressive behavior in the streets and online, as people struggle to be heard and effect long-term social justice. Its case studies explore collective political action in Latin America, including the Zapatistas in the mid-’90s, protests during the 2001 Argentine economic crisis, the 2011 Chilean student movement, the 2014–2015 mobilizations for the disappeared Ayotzinapa students, and the 2018 transnational reproductive rights movement. The book analyzes uses of space, time, media communication, and corporeality in protests such as virtual sit-ins, flash mobs, scarfazos, and hashtag campaigns, arguing that these protests not only challenge hegemonic power but are also socially transformative. While other studies have focused either on digital activism or on street protests, Performance Constellations shows that they are in fact integrally entwined. Zooming in on protest movements and art-activism in Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, and putting contemporary insurgent actions in dialogue with their historical precedents, the book demonstrates how, even in moments of extreme duress, social actors in Latin America have taken up public and virtual space to intervene politically and to contest dominant powers.
Marcela A. Fuentes is Associate Professor of Performance Studies, Northwestern University.
“The concept of ‘performance constellations’ lends itself to novel forms of materialist analyses that trace the movements of activist actions as they respond to local and transnational economic and political conditions. Fuentes draws dexterously from current theory in performance and digital media studies as well as recent scholarship on neoliberalism, and her firsthand interviews with art-activists offer new insights into performance actions as powerful forms of interventionist art.”
–Natalie Alvarez, Ryerson University
“Timely and important . . . explores how the combination of online and offline activism, in their interdependence, have helped counter many of the most predatory practices of Neoliberalism. Focusing on instances from the 1990s to the present in Argentina, Mexico, and Chile, the book explores the many different ways in which performance—and particularly performance as/is event—frames these interventions.”
–Patricia Ybarra, Brown University
"Performance Constellations is an ambitious and nuanced analysis of digital and embodied acts of resistance throughout Latin America... Yet, the plethora of more recent examples and accessible prose make this a wonderful companion to courses at the graduate and undergraduate level." - Christina Baker, Chasqui- Christina Baker
" Fuentes convincingly presents performances that collectively take over public space as an effective activist tool and one of the most radical forms of political action." —CHOICE- M. Becker
"The book is a timely reminder that technologies of oppression and capital accumulation are accompanied by an ever-evolving, always-on-the-move repertoire of tactics of solidarity that connects bodies and political struggles in dispersed localities and sociocultural contexts."- Marlon Jiménez Oviedo
—The Drama Review
"She [Fuentes] leaves us with exciting questions and a solid framework to study activist-centered performance constellations as well as the burgeoning performance constellations that the pandemic has generated."- Gad Guterman