Vandalism as symbolic reparation: Imaginaries of protest in Nicaragua

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-38
Number of pages20
JournalCambridge Journal of Anthropology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • iconography
  • Nicaragua
  • photography
  • protest
  • revolution
  • vandalism


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