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On the Borders of the Political Event in the Age of Hashtags: From #BlackLivesMatter to #JeSuisCharlie

Oana Parvan | Journal: Border Struggles [12] | Issues | Oct 2015

Events no longer mark the continuum of our lived experience with dates or names, but rather hash tags, which, in themselves, are quite evident devices of energy accumulation. From #BlackLivesMatter to #JeSuisCharlie, the semiosphere has urged us to get involved in battles near and far. We choose the faction and unleash our social media gestures, engage in debates and sometimes take to the streets. But what triggers our affiliations and actions? What empathy patterns are activated in the process? How is this empathy constructed from below and above? And how can we build a critical stance around the way events affectively colonize our interiority and possibility of action?

The concept of event has been broadly investigated by philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze and Alain Badiou as an instance of rupture, discontinuity or interruption; and an emergence from either the void or the fullness of a continuum. On the one hand, looking at the 2010-11 protests, Badiou sees the event as a change in intensities, allowing eruption of the ‘inexistent in the field of intensive existence’ (as opposed to the sheer extensive being) and the ‘restitution of the inexistent possible’, where the ‘inexistent’ refers to the underclass, the exploited, the repressed.[1] On the other hand, Deleuze has an abstract understanding of the event as an interaction between ‘chaos’ and ‘screen’, where the chaotic multiplicity sum up all the possibles, while the screen intervenes ‘only to allow compossibles – and only the best combination of compossibles – to be sifted through’.[2] In the political domain, events are certainly a form of novelty or disruption, but not all disruptions are regarded as events. The process of becoming event implies not only a discontinuity but also a persistent and collective effort of circulating and engaging with its contents, enacted by or through the media. The event ‘doesn’t exist outside that which is supposed to express it: the chants, the images taken by cameras, the newspapers, the net, the phones, which allows it to circulate like a viral contagion across the planet’.[3]

Yet sometimes important disruptive moments, such as instances of extreme resistance or direct collective action, do not benefit from any circulation, and are therefore not recognized as events nor engage anyone beyond the direct participants. This is why my focus will be reflecting on what today is (or not) considered a political event and its relationship with the dimension of circulation and consequent affective contagion.

In this regard, Maurizio Lazzarato offers a precious reading that joins two essential ideas. The first one regards the circulation or mediation of an event, intended as not expressing it but rather as a fundamental part of it. The second idea regards the interrogative nature of the political event, seen as both ‘a question and an answer’ to the status quo in its attempt to open up new virtualities. As the philosopher points out, reflecting on the ‘days of Seattle’ through Mikhail Bakhtin’s eyes:

In the event, one sees what is intolerable about an era and the new possibilities for living that it contains at the same time. The mode of the event is the problematical. The event is not the solution to a problem, but rather opens up what is possible. For Mikhail Bakhtin, the event reveals the nature of being as a question or as a problem – specifically in such a way that the sphere of the being of the event is simultaneously that of “answering and questioning”.[4]

And yet, after the 1990s and some of its struggles, of both Western anti-globalization movements and new social movements in Latin America, the modalities and techniques employed by the economic and cultural elite have shifted, setting new limits and challenges to collective direct action and requiring ever changing resistance patterns. This is how, in the age of digital virality and global protests, the event has come to be thought as a preliminary ground for the organizational mode of the contemporary networked politics, given its contagion function, and viewed for its vanguard potential. As such, an event can now be seen as:

A process of contagion whereby a sensible change, first actualized in a relatively small number of bodies, words, actions (for example, the occupiers at Gezi Park in Istambul), becomes, by virtue of those actualizations, communicable to ever larger numbers of people who come across it either by direct contact in the physical layer (people, places) or mediated contact through other layers (corporate media, social media). In this case, what spreads and replicates is at once information – words, images, narratives, actions etc. – and the affective charges that travel with it.[5]

Rodrigo Nunes thus focuses on the importance of digital mediation as a performative intensifier of the likes of a ‘battery that accumulates energy to be discharged in the streets’.[6] Far from any type of ‘clicktivist’ optimism, the contagious event is rather employed as a vehicle, a candidate for the ‘role of structural germ which provide(s) focal points of basic protocol for collective action’,[7] which benefits from the collaboration between groups holding different participation levels (the ‘network system’ and the ‘network-movement’ in Nunes’ terms), both online and offline. Mediation plays an important role in the interaction between direct experience and participation, in a disruption and the transmission of that disruption because it constitutes the privileged battleground of contemporary hegemony. Engaged in a ‘permanent pre-emptive warfare in which media networks are now thoroughly implicated’,[8] image becomes a true ‘tool of war’[9] aimed at channeling affects in certain directions. Therefore what unfolds beyond the body’s borders, concerning the production and transmission of meaning around (and as a part of) the event, is particularly important because ‘mass media are not mediating anymore’ but have ‘become direct mechanisms of control by their ability to modulate the affective dimension’.[10] Moreover, what constitutes the event is not only an instance of discontinuity but also a specific extension of that same discontinuity. In other words, a certain reception or certain interests (held by the subjects agreeing on the eventfulness of an experience) indicate a cut, a selection in the experiential continuum (that cut is then recognized as an ‘event’) based on the shared perception that the event is both cause and effect of an affective transformation.

#BlackLivesMatter: Tactical Politics beyond the Party

The collective mobilization following the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson, Misouri (US) in August 2015 and the failure to indict his killer, Darren Wilson, in November 2015, has certainly left a trace on the global reception of the political practices. However, little academic thought has been put in the kind of innovations such a movement would be able to transmit to other struggles (though practices sometimes travel virally beyond explicit recognition or affiliation). Born as a reaction to an ongoing regime of police brutality and impunity, the Black American community and its allies have built consistency around the event itself (not exceptional as such, but perceived as a tipping point) and were able to make their efforts and movement visible and contagious by deploying the #BlackLivesMatter hashtag (#BLM from now on), which was globally adopted as a platform of the struggle against race-based and police violence.[11]

At its core, the North American #BLM movement is built by women and holds dominant trans and queer voices, having swept away the ‘old guard’ of political or religious leaders. Ever since its inception, the movement has attracted all the predictable critiques and obstacles (across the race line), from silence on behalf of the national media channels, to the fallacious claims that the USA doesn’t have a race problem (also invoked in the recent Chapel Hill shootings case),[12] to the accusation of lacking a political platform or the difficulty of understanding what the struggle was all about in the first place.[13] Moreover, there has been the inevitable paranoid fear of the protesters’ violent intentions and their consequent demonization, after the shooting of two policemen.

One of the #BLM founders, artist Patrisse Cullors, maintained in a recent tour to the UK,[14] that the movement rejects the confused image drawn by the media, and reclaims the explicit fight against state violence, fully aware of its ties with gender-based violence, destitution and the prison industrial complex, affecting the less privileged American communities. What the movement imagines is the abolition of both prisons and police structures, while building alternative forms of accountability from below, of which their protest practices have constituted an experimental example. Inside and outside the USA borders those practices have been viable also because of a new understanding of the concept of alliance (across the race line and sometimes merging with labour struggles such as the fast food workers’),[15] and solidarity (taking several #BLM activists as far as Palestine.[16]) Cullors gives full voice to the political awareness by saying: ‘We’re starting a political project. It’s tactical’.[17] So are the practices aimed to stop state violence, by materially obstructing the logistical infrastructures of the physical consumerist flow, like freeways, shopping malls (during the Black Friday frenzy), subways and, last but not least, police stations (sometimes symbolically granted eviction notices).[18] By metaphorically equating the body of the victim to the body of the state, the blocking of the Oakland subway, for instance, lasted for four hours, the same amount of time Mark Brown’s body was abandoned on the street after his killing.[19]

The political enunciation of the movement through its practices has a double performative dimension. The first one – blocking the paths of consumption – is based on the implicit awareness of the historical functionality of racism and police brutality for profit (while also being an original non-violent practice in a country where disproportionate violence is easily deployed against its citizens). The second performative dimension, related to the production of meaning around these practices, employs assertive discursive tools (hashtag-statements such as #BLM, #ThisEndsToday or eviction notices handed to the police) to overthrow the existing power relationship and make space to an alternative, which gains consistency despite its imaginary nature, by the very act of invoking it. Where accountability doesn’t exist yet, it is being created.

Blocking the flow in the UK

The same creative performativity has been experienced in the British alignment with the global #BLM gesture, after it became clear that Eric Garner’s killing, would remain unaccounted for; and as a sign of solidarity from a broad community that is, too, fighting violence impunity. It is worth noting that the alliance between the USA and British protesters bears some particular characteristics. First of all, the struggle for criminal justice carried on by the British Black community has  particular relevance, given the fact that it is a crucial and radical platform aggregating grass root organizations and has been marked by the recent event of the 2011 ‘riots’ around Mark Duggan’s killing.

British protestors also joined USA counterparts for tactical reasons, since Ferguson opened up a global arena of debate around state violence. Outrage was catalyzed in three distinct moments of intensive participation and unprecedented alliances: the protest for Darren Wilson’s non indictment in front of the American Embassy on the 26th of November 2014 (Flood the Embassy – Justice for Mike Brown – Darren Wilson is guilty!), the huge ‘die-in’ in Westfield shopping mall on the 10th of December 2014 (We can’t breathe! Solidarity die-in for Eric Garner), and the Ferguson tour in the UK in January 2015.[20]

In the emergence of these shared moments a bridge is consolidated between organizations fighting state violence in different settings. From Defend the Right to Protest (born after the disproportionate repression of the students’ movement in 2010), to London Campaign against Police and State Violence, the National Union of Black students and the then emergent London Black Revolutionaries.[21] All groups claim an explicit sensibility towards feminist and LGTB related issues, as well as economic justice, which opens up the agenda beyond race, facilitating the involvement of non-Black participants on a broader program calling for a common language and values.

On the 10th of December 2014, under the guidance of Garner’s and Brown’s last words – I can’t breath!; Hands up, don’t shoot! – some 600 protesters reached one of London’s biggest shopping mall, Westfield, on a crowded pre-Christmas night, determined to bring the image of lying bodies to everyone’s attention with a massive ‘die-in’. Despite the arrest of 76 protesters, the Westfield die-in demonstrated the performative potential of new alliances and enunciation tactics. Because of its setting in a revered commercial space and the composition of the body of protesters (ranging from experienced community organizers, to young Black and non-Black activists and students), the public and private police forces found themselves confused about a suitable repressive response, eventually settling for the traditional kettling and arresting practice once the march proceeded outside the mall.[22]

At Westfield, the heterogeneous body of protesters had managed to reach an affective and strategic synchronization, acting both separately as individuals and as a group, depending on the obstacles set by the security forces, and repeatedly achieving its own recomposition despite the absence of instructions.[23]

What affected both the protesters and the surrounding environment was the sonic regime imposed by the group, chanting with one voice against police brutality sentences with obvious abolitionist intents, such as:

Back up, back up! We want freedom, freedom!
These racist police, We don’t need them, need them!
Who killed Mark Duggan? Police killed Mark Duggan!
If you don’t give no justice, than you won’t have no peace!
Being black is not a crime!

The same voice would react collectively against the first arrests and kettling attempts inside the mall, with impromptu chants such as We can’t breathe! The world is watching! or even addressing the material and virtual witnesses of those attacks with questions such as We are violent, what are they?! alluding to the violent reaction of the police to the non-violent protest.

Whatever the immediate result and the political consideration granted by public opinion or intellectuals, phenomena like the #BLM movement and its resonating moments beyond USA borders constitute a political event, insofar as they lay the foundation for the creation of a ‘network-system strong and active enough for an initiative to be able to activate it and develop a new subnetwork-system out of it very quickly’.[24] As Nunes clarifies, this is the reason why ‘after many obituaries of Occupy Wall Street had been written, Occupy Sandy managed to organize a highly sophisticated disaster response operation in very little time’.[25]

At the same time, the meaning production and practices around the #BLM event can be related to what Lazzarato refers to as political enunciation, when ‘in assuming public speech, a power of self-positioning manifest itself’, seen as ‘a power of self-affectation’, one by means of which ‘subjectivity affects itself’.[26] In his account, the enunciation possesses a creative power given by the ‘very act of speaking’ the language of the possible, while its first effect is that of affecting and engaging the enunciating subjects first of all,[27] in their relationship to the self, followed by their relation to the others and the world.[28]

#JeSuisCharlie. Producing Affect, Extracting Value

The framing of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, including the virality of the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag[29] was (due to its polarization between Western freedom of speech and Eastern Islamism), like an invitation to global civil war, an appeal to the Western public opinion to take the ‘War on Terror’ to a next level.

In the post-9/11 age the demonization of ‘Arabs’ and Muslims for their alleged involvement in tragic events has developed into an increasingly rapid legitimation apparatus. After a period marked  by the Al Qaeda modus operandi (in the New York, Madrid and London attacks), apparently reemerged in the recent Paris shootings,[30] a more capillary communication strategy arose, focused on brutal but glossy videos of foreign hostages of the Islamic State wearing Guantanamo style orange jumpsuits, being beheaded by anonymous members of the group. During February 2015, two videos depicting the deaths of Jordanian and Egyptian citizens triggered  military airstrikes on behalf of Jordan and Egypt in the Syrian and Libyan territory.

After the mutation of the Orientalist discourse (in the mid-1970s) influenced by new techniques of power such as public relations, advertising, communication management and infotainment, the conflict between the West and the East has moved to new ground of information warfare.[31] Hegemony stopped operating at a logico-discursive level in order to influence knowledge, and alternatively,  advanced the modulation of affects in order to consolidate ‘empirical facts’.[32] Rather than building a narration and appealing to the abstract reason of the public, the truth is based on ‘something that is taken for and functions as an empirical fact’, what Brian Massumi calls the ‘affective fact’, which grants an extra-logical empirical credibility to the affective impact, and consolidates that same credibility through repetition ‘mainly by repeating the charge, rather than revealing the proof’ since ‘repetition of a warning, (or of a charge) or even its name, can be enough to effect the passage to empirical fact’.[33]

In the case of the reaction to the Charlie Hebdo shooting what is noteworthy is the perfect synchronization of corporate and social media (which are usually at least partially non-aligned), and the weight of the affective regime that obstructed any critical problematization of the news in the aftermath of the events. But also, since the reaction to the attack might mean further military development in Europe and abroad, it also highlighted a certain valorization of the event itself and the resulting affective response to the benefit of the military capitalist-industrial lobbies, through what Tiziana Terranova described as the ‘biopolitics of the public’, ‘not a matter of lying to individuals or imposing on them a set of beliefs – but rather making active use of their attitudes, their opinions and their ways of doing to achieve a number of effects’.[34] This is how the valorization of intensified affect occurs, not by simply imposing it, but rather speculating on its very flow. In Massumi’s words on the relationship between capitalism and affect: ‘Capitalism starts intensifying or diversifying affect, but only in order to extract surplus-value. It hijacks affect in order to intensify profit potential. It literally valorizes affect’.[35]

The effect of the #JeSuisCharlie discourse is far from pre-determined, yet its excluding assertiveness affects an important domain of the collective future: the possible connection between Muslim and non-Muslim communities and individuals. By intensifying the perception of a reciprocal imminent threat – affecting the so called ‘Western’ citizens as well as Muslim citizens across the world possibly targeted by anti-terrorism attacks – the future is already colonized by the projection of an irresistible conflict. As a consequence, further war in the Middle East and the harassment of Western Muslims gains a higher degree of probability than Muslim and non-Muslim French citizens rallying against war or social injustice. Against the imposition of predictable conflicts, Massumi advocates for a ‘politics of belonging, instead of a politics of identity, of correlated emergence instead of separate domains of interest attracting each other or colliding in predictable ways’.[36]

It is precisely the politics of identity and predictable conflicts inherent in #JeSuisCharlie that leaves little space for reflection on the causes beyond what is depicted as brutal irrational fanaticism, nurtured in an area devastated by wars, occupations and impoverishing instability (of which the West is a direct actor and beneficiary). It appears as though the West holds the sacred privilege to peace, without any accountability as to the injustices is perpetrates, both in its metropolitan suburbs and the territories it plunders for resources and hegemony.

Drawing on these recent cases of political events, it appears as though the process of becoming or emerging as an ‘event’, especially in the interaction with the media and public opinion, is liable of enacting a sort of alienation, intended, following its etymological path, as the process of diverting or transferring meaning; in this case, by producing an-other (alius), thus operating a shift in the ownership structure, by neutralizing the subversive charge while valorizing it for a different agenda. In fact, alienation is a crucial aspect of the contemporary political event, with regards to the way different media choose to interact with a disrupting happening.

There are two positions from which one is alienated from the event, depending on the relative condition of action of a group or an individual. When part of a larger (or smaller) intersection of agencies, attempting to induce a discontinuity (by employing various types of resistance), the construction of the event regards the impact of one’s actions, by channeling how the others receive those actions.

In that case, alienation can occur at the level of intentions, practices and results connected to the action. This is why independent mediation is part of the discontinuity gesture itself and despite it, certain political phenomena, such as the mobilization around #BlackLivesMatter, tend to be pushed towards the realm of the non-political, their image being altered in order to influence the contagious potentialities of similar gestures with regards to a broader collective dimension. The stake here is that of rescaling and channeling the affects produced by direct collective action.

On the other hand, even if one’s action pattern doesn’t involve any (conscious at least) intention of conflict with the power structure, one is still liable of being overwhelmed by the affective event. The alienation of this kind of event resides in its process of grafting a powerful affective machine onto a specific event, like the case of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, while compelling the participant public to take position, with their affects becoming a sort of war currency. Due to the obsessively repetitive framing, the event acquires a sort of sacred dimension (indeed, it is more a hyper-event we are dealing with) – becoming an experience declared to mark the entire ‘Western’ community. It imposes an affective regime that becomes a criterion for assessing one’s partaking to that same ‘Western’ community (‘one is outraged because one holds Western values’ or rather ‘if one is not outraged, then one must justify and support non Western barbarianism’).

While the first kind of alienation attempts to dam resistance and solidarity contagion, by effectively eclipsing the novelty and collective relevance behind the #BLM movement’s achievements; the second one produces collective affect as a war machine and uses it as an irresistible dispositive of exclusion and conflict production. This  leaves little space for what can be regarded as a potential gesture of ‘affective strike’, by linking affective affiliation to a solidified notion of identity, based on what is staged as an unavoidable and undeniable ‘Clash of Civilizations’, granted empirical status on affective grounds.

Conclusion

Events indicate the importance of the articulation of the field of belonging, and how it can be constructed from below or above (revolutionized or solidified in its predictability), depending on the alienation of the event, whether in terms of overshadowing its radicality or funneling the resulting affects. As a result, the all too frequent focus on the nation-state or regional dimension  cannot provide fruitful solutions. It sustains the idea of conflictuality and war, alluding to an idea of purity that has never existed (hence excluding huge categories out of the lawfully defendable citizenship category). Moreover, such a focus  legitimates  the lack of transparency and accountability on behalf of the state (because of the monopoly of secrecy and state secret), while ignoring the fact that states no longer hold sovereignty over their territory (as once again demonstrated by the Israeli police force storming in the French kosher kidnapping affair, following the Charlie Hebdo shooting).[37]

What #BlackLivesMatter and #JeSuisCharlie reveal  is an uneasy political truth. No political emergence will be possible without conceiving the possibility of new alliances, and reflecting on privilege polarization. For the political is not locked in the Idea, but surrounds us. Giving a chance for unpredictable connections and yet unimagined possibles, might be a necessary prospect in the years to come, since, as Massumi claims:

What you can do, your potential, is defined by your connectedness, the way you’re connected and how intensely, not your ability to separate off and decide by yourself. Autonomy is always connective, it’s not being apart, it’s being in, being in a situation of belonging that gives you certain degrees of freedom, or powers of becoming, powers of emergence.[38]

In the attempt to reflect on new patterns of empathy and solidarity, rather than focusing on profitable or dismissive divisions, the moment has come to acknowledge that from what we feel to what we do, #WeAreAllResponsible.

Notes

1. Alain Badiou, The Rebirth of History: Times of Riots and Uprisings, (London: Verso, 2012), 56. [↑]

2. Gilles Deleuze, “What is an Event?,” in The Fold, Leibniz and the Baroque, (Minnesota: University Press, 1992), 87. [↑]

3. Maurizio Lazzarato, La politica dell’evento (Cosenza: Rubbettino, 2004), 12. [↑]

4. Maurizio Lazzarato, “Struggle, Event, Media,” Republicart, May 2003, http://republicart.net/disc/representations/lazzarato01_en.htm(accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

5. Rodrigo Nunes, Organisation of the Organisationless: Collective Action after Networks, (Mute, 2014), 21-22. [↑]

6. Nunes, 23. [↑]

7. Nunes, 23. About the notion of ‘structural germ’ as defined by Gilbert Simondon, cfr. Endnote 27, 49. [↑]

8. Tiziana Terranova, “Futurepublic. On Information Warfare, Bio-racism and Hegemony as Noopolitics,” Theory, Culture & Society, May 2007 vol. 24 no. 3, http://tcs.sagepub.com/content/24/3/125.abstrac (accessed 18 February 2015), 135. [↑]

9. Terranova, 131 cit. Nicholas Mirzoeff, Watching Babylon: The War in Iraq and Global Visual Culture, (London & New York: Routledge, 2005), 74.  [↑]

10. Massumi & Zournazi, An Interview with Brian Massumi[↑]

11. Black Lives Matters is a movement co-founded by three black women activists/organizers: Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opal Tometi. The hashtag has been initiated in 2012 after the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s killer, George Zimmerman, and gained a significant popularity against the backdrop of the most famous cases of police violence during the summer of 2014, marked by the killing of Eric Garner, John Crawford III, and Michael Brown, which have caused broad protests and riots across the United States between August and December 2014, as well as numerous solidarity rallies in Canada and the United Kingdom. See http://blacklivesmatter.com (accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

12. On the 10th of February 2015 in Chapel Hill (North Carolina, US), three young Muslim students: Deah Shaddy Barakat (23), Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha (21) and Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha (19) are shot in the head and killed in their house by armed neighbor Craig Stephen Hicks, who rejected the accusations of having committed a hate crime, but declared the reason of the killings being a parking lot dispute. [↑]

13. Patrisse Cullors quoting Oprah Winfrey during the Ferguson Solidarity tour in the UK. [↑]

14. During the Ferguson Solidarity tour in the UK in January, 2015, http://fergusonsolidaritytour.com (accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

15. There have been frequent alliances between the organizations fighting for a wage raise in the fast-food industry and the movement for criminal justice, as discussed in Sarah Jaffe, “Black poverty is state violence, too: Why struggles for criminal justice and living wage are uniting,” Salon, 5 December 2014, http://www.salon.com/2014/12/05/black_poverty_is_state_violence_too_why_struggles_for_criminal_justice_and_living_wage_are_uniting/ , (accessed 25 February 2015). For an understanding of the capillarity of the fast-food workers struggles in the US, see http://strikefastfood.org and  http://fightfor15.org (accessed 25 February 2015). [↑]

16. Rania Khalek, “Ferguson activists bring message of ‘love and struggle’ to Palestine,” Electronic Intifada, 16 January 2015, http://electronicintifada.net/blogs/rania-khalek/watch-ferguson-activists-bring-message-love-and-struggle-palestine, (accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

17. At the Ferguson Solidarity Tour talk held at Goldsmiths, University of London, on the 27th of January 2015. [↑]

18. Andy Campbell, “Protesters Storm St. Louis Police Headquarters with Eviction Notice,” Huffington Post, 31 December 2014, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/31/protesters-st-louis-police_n_6402150.html (accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

19. As explained by Patrisse Cullors at the same talk. [↑]

20. For reference see the Facebook events pages. Flood the Embassy: https://www.facebook.com/events/312433102293366 (accessed 1 March 2015); We can’t breathe!

https://www.facebook.com/events/294598964082684 (accessed 1 March 2015). [↑]

21.  It’s worth noticing that the relationships between the organizing groups have undergone conflicts by January 2015. However for a partial background contextualization focused on Defend the Right to Protest see Matt Bolton, “Beyond the Law: Defend the Right And the Ferguson Solidarity Tour,” New Left Project, 12 February 2015, http://www.newleftproject.org/index.php/site/article_comments/beyond_the_law_defend_the_right_to_protest_and_the_ferguson_solidarity_tour, (accessed 1 March 2015). [↑]

22.  This protest example holds significant similarities with the analysis of the 2011 protests drawn by Judith Butler, in which the body was pointed at as a crucial entity producing the public on the street, Judith Butler, “Bodies in Alliance and the Politics of the Street,” in European Institute for Progressive Cultural Practices, September 2011, http://www.eipcp.net/transversal/1011/butler/en (accessed 18 February 2015). [↑]

23. In my understanding of the affective dimension, I am going along with Massumi’s pragmatic definition of affect inspired by Baruch Spinoza as the passing of the threshold between the capacities of affecting and being affected, as ‘accompanied by a feeling of a change in capacity’, Massumi & Zournazi, An Interview with Brian Massumi[↑]

24. Nunes, Organisation of the Organisationless, 37. [↑]

25. Nunes, 37. [↑]

26. Maurizio Lazzarato, Signs and Machines. Capitalism and the Production of Subjects, (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2014), 231. [↑]

27. Lazzarato, 234. [↑]

28. Lazzarato, 230. [↑]

29. #JeSuisCharlie hash tag accompanied by an image of the phrase (occasionally translated in other languages) becomes one of the most popular news hash tags in Twitter’s history in the immediate aftermath of the shooting of 11 people at the headquarters of the satirical weekly newspaper Charlie, in Paris, on the 7th of January 2015 , by Said and Cherif Kouachi. [↑]

30. Michele Giorgio, “Charlie Hebdo. Dietro le quinte lo scontro Isis – al Quaeda,” Nena News, 9 January 2015, http://nena-news.it/charlie-hebdo-dietro-le-quinte-lo-scontro-isis-al-qaeda/ (accessed 18 February). [↑]

31. Terranova, “Futurepublic,” 130. [↑]

32. Massumi & Zournazi, An Interview with Brian Massumi[↑]

33. Brian Massumi, “The Future Birth of the Affective Fact,” in Conference Proceedings: Genealogies of Biopolitics, www.radicalempiricism.org/biotextes/textes/massumi.pdf (accessed October 2006), 10 quoted in Terranova, “Futurepublics,” 133. [↑]

34. Terranova, “Futurepublics,” 139. [↑]

35. Massumi and Zournazi, An Interview with Brian Massumi[↑]

36. Massumi and Zournazi. [↑]

37. Two days after the Charlie Hedbo shooting, on the 9th of January 2015 a third assailant connected to the attackers, Amedy Coulibaly, storms into a Hyperchacher cosher supermarket at Porte de Vincennes in east Paris, killing 4 people and taking hostages. He is gunned down by the police. [↑]

38. Massumi and Zournazi, An Interview with Brian Massumi[↑]


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