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Vandalism as Symbolic Reparation

Selejan, IL; (2021) Vandalism as Symbolic Reparation. The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology , 39 (2) pp. 19-38. 10.3167/cja.2021.390203. Green open access

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The 2018 anti-government protests in Nicaragua generated a vast amount of photographic imagery, video documentation, and visual graphics. On the street and via social media, everyday citizens engaged with this material, activating a multisensory environment. The production of visual content was nonetheless accompanied by iconoclastic gestures; vandalism became a means of reclaiming Nicaragua’s revolutionary past and its symbols, while deploying them towards the making of a yet to be imagined political future. Drawing on examples from Chile and Mexico, the article argues that acts of vandalism may be understood as symbolically reparative. The materiality of the protests, manifested through image, trace, gesture, and sound (slogans, chants, noise) becomes a means towards analysing, ethnographically, revolutionary imaginaries caught within the flux of an unsettled present.

Type: Article
Title: Vandalism as Symbolic Reparation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3167/cja.2021.390203
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3167/cja.2021.390203
Language: English
Additional information: This work is licensed under a Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)
Keywords: Iconography, Nicaragua, photography, protest, revolution, vandalism
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10135259
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