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26th May, 2016

Oppositional Energies: social justice protest and oppositional politics

Event Details

26th May, 2016
Rooms CG76, C107 and C109, College Building, Middlesex University, London NW4 4BT

London is a city of oppositional energies. From anti-war marches to the unstoppable march of gentrification, from Occupy movements to the City’s international capital flows and elitist segregation, stagnant institutional injustices are under near-perpetual attack in a city calling for justice.


This one-day conference explores the local and global landscape of social justice movements, grassroots activism and oppositional politics. With London at its heart, but not confined geographically in scope and subject matter, ‘Oppositional Energies’ seeks to draw together the work of academics, activists and artists who are researching, documenting and living various responses to inequality, oppression and injustice in all its forms.

Bringing together these voices, the conference aims to explore the political and social frameworks, origins, impact and struggles of collective movements that address areas such as: social welfare and protection, anti-austerity, gender, race and class inequalities, environmentalism, LGBTI rights, reparations, workers’ rights, social policy, education, human rights and migration.

The conference will explore a wide range of topics, including:

  • The relationship between mass movements and state power
  • The affective dimensions of protest
  • Global and local movements
  • New media and protest
  • Political collectives
  • The possibilities of post-oppositional politics
  • Spaces of protest
  • Intersections of inequality
  • Citizenship and belonging
  • Exclusions within social justice movements

Keynote speaker: Professor Gurminder Bhambra, Department of Sociology, University of Warwick

This interdisciplinary conference is open to artists, activists and academics with an interest in the conference themes of social justice, grassroots activism and oppositional politics. The conference will include alternative and artistic exhibitions, presentations and performance.

Conference papers will be considered for inclusion in an edited collection.

Registration is free. The conference is being organised by Rachel Seoighe, Santiago Amietta and Carly Guest from the Centre for Social and Criminological Research at Middlesex University.

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