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Affect's Effects: Considering Art-activism and the 2001 Crisis in Argentina

Ryan, H. E. (2015). Affect's Effects: Considering Art-activism and the 2001 Crisis in Argentina. Social Movement Studies, 14(1), pp. 42-57. doi: 10.1080/14742837.2014.944893


Anxious of straying too far from traditional rational actor models and an assiduous positivism, social movement scholars have displayed a persistent tendency to overlook the specificities of visual tools and aesthetic experience in claim-making and political protest. Often, as a direct consequence, the possibilities for mobilization and the matrices within which action takes place are described and understood in ways that are oversimplified, even distorted. Notably, small steps have been taken to overcome these distortions by building in a theory of affect that reserves a crucial space for the extra-discursive in the study of contentious politics. Extending some of these insights, this article reveals how an affect-informed approach can be particularly illuminating in studies of art-activism. It takes stencil protests from the aftermath of the 2001 crisis in Argentina as a case in point, discussing affects and their effects on porteño street artists. In so doing, it strengthens the case for greater incorporation of affect as a tool for understanding in literatures that deal with questions of framing, art-activism and the possibilities for social change.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Social Movement Studies on 20/08/2014, available online:
Publisher Keywords: activism, aesthetics, argentina, crisis, street art
Subjects: J Political Science > JC Political theory
J Political Science > JL Political institutions (America except United States)
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > International Politics
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