Politicizing Precarity, Producing Visual Dialogues on Migration: Transnational Public Spaces in Social Movements
In a period characterized by weak public consent over European integration, the purpose of this article is to analyze images created by transnational activists who aim to politicize the social question and migrants' subjectivity in the European Union (EU). I will explore the content of posters and images produced by social movement activists for their local and joint European protest actions, and shared on blogs and homepages. I suspect that the underexplored visual dimension of emerging transnational public spaces created by activists offers a promising field of analysis. My aim is to give an empirical example of how we can study potential "visual dialogues" in transnational public spaces created within social movements. An interesting case for visual analysis is the grassroots network of local activist groups that created a joint "EuroMayday" against precarity and which mobilized protest parades across Europe. I will first discuss the relevance of "visual dialogues" in the EuroMayday protests from the perspective of discursive theories of democracy and social movements studies. Then I discuss activists' transnational sharing of visual images as a potentially innovative cultural practice aimed at politicizing and re-interpreting official imaginaries of citizenship, labor flexibility and free mobility in Europe. I also discuss the limits on emerging transnational "visual dialogues" posed by place-specific visual cultures.
transnational public spaces; visual analysis; political deliberation; social movements