(Re)thinking Protest Camps: governance, spatiality, affect and media

Last updated, 19 Mar 2012
Starting March 19, 2012 - Ending June 26, 2012 Expired
Tue, 06/26/2012

Location: University of Leicester
Format: One-day workshop
Contact: Fabian Frenzel (

 Workshop Overview

Over the last year, urban protest camps and encampments have captured the world’s attention and imagination.  From Tahrir Square to the tent city of Tel Aviv, from the encampments of the Los Indignados in Spain to the Occupy movement, enduring protests have arisen to demand democracy and fight austerity measures.  In addition to these protest camps situated within/outside symbolic targets, other kinds of protest camps have grown as a social movement tactic in recent decades.

These include camps that aim to prevent or disrupt the destruction of a site under social or environmental threat (for example, anti-roads protests, or the solidarity camp that sought to prevent the eviction of Irish Traveller families from their land at Dale Farm in Essex).  There have been camps that draw attention to sites posing a specific social, military or environmental threat (for example, the siting of Climate Camps outside oil-fuelled power stations or peace camps outside military installations). Finally, camps have been organised as counter-summits or ‘convergence spaces’ (Routledge 2003) in opposition to strategic meetings of global political leaders.

This one-day workshop seeks to examine both these recent and contemporary expressions of protest camps, as well as to chart the historical geographies of protest encampments in earlier periods.  The workshop is open to a broad interpretation of ‘protest camps’ from physical encampments where people live, through to the picket-lines of long-running industrial strikes.  In some cases it is the act of camping, of being in place, that is central, in others it is the duration and creation of a persistent physical infrastructure of protest in situ.

The workshop is structured around four ways of approaching protest camps to theorise their social, cultural and political impact.  Through four short introductions examining the governance, spatialities, affective terrain and media representations of/from these sites, we hope to provide plentiful opportunity for open, yet focused, discussion and debate.

Workshop Organisers

The  ”(Re)thinking Protest Camps” workshop is organised by: Gavin BrownFabian Frenzeland Jenny Pickerill, University of Leicester, Anna Feigenbaum, Richmond, the American International University in London, and Patrick McCurdy, University of Ottawa.

Workshop Logistics

Booking is now open for a one-day seminar on “(Re)thinking Protest Camps: governance, spatiality, affect and media”, University of Leicester, Tuesday 26 June 2012.  The event is free, and lunch is provided: but a place must be reserved in advance.  Please complete the online booking form to book your place.

A limited number of travel/accommodation bursaries are available for postgraduate / unwaged participants or people without access to funding for such activity which are available on a first come, first served basis.  To request a bursary please contact Gavin Brown (gpb10 (at) specifying your status and (briefly) the reasons for your request.
There will be a meal available afterwards at your own cost.
Location: University of Leicester – 15 minute walk from Leicester rail station.
Accommodation:  we would recommend Spindle Lodge:
or you can find other options here.

(If you are unsure about where is and isn’t convenient for the University campus, contact the organizers.) Please also inform us of any special requirements (eg. dietary, access etc.). We will do our best to address these.