Material Artifacts and Contentious Politics. Methodological Sketches of Visual Study on Protest Movements
The first stage of the project was focused on the systemic mapping and interpreting the material cultures of street protests in Warsaw, Brussels, Berlin and London in the years 2008-2017 – the empirical ground for observing material objects of protest was based on press-photos of major agencies (N=600) (Koopmans, Rucht 2002). This mapping process of first stage is deepening by ethnographic observations of protest campaigns in the mentioned capital cities (nationalist, feminist and anti-austerity protests). A single act of street protest is considered as a complex medium, which was expressed by Charles Tilly (2006) as a „WUNC display” – where the public impact of demonstration is based on the accurate use of bodily, material and visual compontents.Material artifacts are taking part in diversive forms of protest communications – as a material interaction with the police, as an expression of political aesthetics and movements symbols (Sartwell 2010), and also part of visual communication (Fahlenbrach 2016) with its impact on diagnostic, prognostic and motivational framing of protest (Snow, Benford 1988).