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Hijacking Cultural Policies: Art as a Healthy Virus within Social Strategies of Resistance

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Abstract:

The Egnatia Road project describes a cooperative action between European artists and local populations along the ancient route from Rome to Constantinople. Focusing on myths and memories of territorial and metaphorical displacement over centuries, it represents a space of resistance realized in narrative and physical action. The process of constructing the road engages artistic activism and local communities in creating a participatory cultural product. Begun as a road trip to the Balkans, the research in history, storytelling, and half-forgotten traditions has resulted in the creation of mobile laboratories and events involving a range of people and experiences. The ongoing intention has been to produce paving stones recording the personal and communal experiences of people along the road. As an exercise in public art, the project has raised new questions and insights into the nature of popular dissent and the role of art in giving it a voice in wider venues and situations.

Keywords: ART; COMMUNITIES; DISPLACEMENT; EGNATIA ROAD; HISTORY; MEMORIES; PAVING STONE; POPULATIONS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3167/sa.2007.510105

Publication date: March 1, 2007

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  • Social Analysis has long been at the forefront of anthropology's engagement with the humanities and other social sciences. In forming a critical, concerned, and empirical perspective, it encourages contributions that break away from the disciplinary bounds of anthropology and suggest innovative ways of challenging hegemonic paradigms through 'grounded theory', analysis based in original empirical research. The journal invites contributions directed toward a critical and theoretical understanding of cultural, political, and social processes, as well as the work of active ethnographic researchers who study the forces involved in the production of human suffering, poverty, prejudice, war, and violence.
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