Fertile soil: The production of Prefigurative Territories by the Indignados movement in Barcelona

Asara, Viviana and Kallis, Giorgos (2018) Fertile soil: The production of Prefigurative Territories by the Indignados movement in Barcelona. SRE - Discussion Papers, 2018/03. WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna.


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Social movements do not only protest and demand political change - they produce new spaces too. Why and how? If we understand this, we can appreciate better the specificity and potential of the last cycle of mobilizations involving the encampment of cities' squares. This paper shows how the Indignados movement in Barcelona evolved from symbolizing an alternative future in the square to constructing alternatives in the city after. We find that people in alternative projects re-appropriate and transform urban space because they want to live differently and produce a radically different city, now. We conceptualize these new spaces as "prefigurative territories", integrating the seemingly divergent anarchist theory of prefiguration with Lefebvre's Marxist theory of space production. Prefigurative projects have strategic horizons and struggle with conflicts when opening up. Against those charging the Indignados with a fetishization of the occupied square and a failure to achieve political goals, we argue for the continuing relevance of the movement as it moved from the production of differential, to the production of counter-spaces. Further research should investigate how these counter-spaces feed into processes of political change.

Item Type: Paper
Additional Information: Paper accepted in the International Journal of Urban and Regional Research
Keywords: Social movement, movement of the squares, Indignados, prefigurative politics, space production, territory, community garden, Henri Lefebvre, 15-M, social centre
Divisions: Departments > Sozioökonomie > Multi-Level Governance and Development
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 30 Jul 2018 09:42
Last Modified: 22 Oct 2019 00:41
Related URLs:
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/6430


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