Everyday Resistance

Published 12 February 2015 / By Rob McNeil

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There are different ways of interpreting both the concept of autonomy and the concept of resistance.

In some ways the autonomy of migrants can be expressed through not only the act of migrating, but also through the new socialities that are created through the migratory process – new groups and bonds are formed, codes and practices and even a polities that exists in a reality that is largely imperceptible to the political mainstream because, by its very nature, it exists under the radar.

Autonomy can also be seen in the context of self-organistion and anti-party actions that are also expressed in the actions of migrants moving in a manner that can be seen as an action of resistance to the established political order of the world. (Papodopoulos and Mezzadra)

The mobile commons

The digitisation of communication, provides a new space in which migrants can communicate, exist and resist outside the national political frames. These are rapidly changing and hard to pin down. The creation of a space for “subterranean” resistance that can exist outside traditional spaces provides an interesting new space. This is interesting in the context of James Scott’s ‘Weapons of the Weak’ and other work.

Comments from the team that the idea is very interesting and strong, but that it would have been nice to see more specificity and empiricism in the analysis of this. (Discussed K. Sivaramakrishnan and made reference to Ash Amin’s latest work on the Stranger)

Key questions:

How does/can “resistance” in a political context align with concepts of knowledge exchange?

How does language obscure truth?

Entire UN apparatus are created around nebulous words such as “resilience” and “knowledge exchange”

(reference: Buzzwords and Fuzzwords) –

Can one use clarity to resist – to find truth our of the morass of ridiculous words that people don’t understand? Is are concepts of “clarity” sometimes misleading and something that should be resisted?

What does resilience mean, and whose responsibility is it? The state transfers the expectation/responsibility of resilience to the individual – encouraging entrepreneurialism etc.

What is the relationship between resistance and security? We are all protecting ourselves at all times – is this resilience? Protest and resistance may be problematic because they suggest that the state is expected to solve problems rather than you.

We all resist in various ways even at the micro/pedestrial level – choosing who we hang out with, who we choose to be (and what we are seen as) how we curate our ‘friends’, on facebook when they operate in a manner that we disapprove of. Where does resistance end and “ethics and responsibility” start?

Strategies of resistance – should one not resist that which is wrong if one believes that a bigger prize can be gained?