Action, Intervention and Daily Deployment –

A research project on protest practices and their visual representation

‘We are not protesting what we don’t want, we are performing what we want.’

– Emily Roysdon

The AIDD online-archive is a resource comprising of a collection of documents, writings, videos, interviews, art works, and other entries related to socio-political practices and engagement of what we call everyday protest. We collected information and media reflecting on different perspectives and characteristics of such perceived protest practices. The entries are not only based on our own research but also on submitted works by artists, writers, activists and others. It is an open source created to inform and inspire practitioners, researchers, scholars, or any other interested parties concerned with different kinds of actions and interventions practiced through daily life.

In the recent wake of protests across the world, the immediate association to ‘protest’ is of a mass of people coming together to voice their disapproval. Many of such actions have been confronted with violence, arrest and opposition. Have you ever taken part in such actions? Were you frustrated or disappointed when what you were claiming for was not realised? Was it possibly too short-lived to make a difference?

We asked ourselves: can we think of a different kind or representation of protest? If we shift away from this general idea of protest and rather focus on the statements and commitments that are executed at the intersection between the privacy of our own homes and the public sphere, is there any difference? Consider actions of boycott campaigns, Buy-Nothing-Day or urban gardening as social practices, can the results of these interventions be regarded as more sustainable? Does it matter whether it is an individual act or a movement, and how can we grasp such a shift? Are such actions temporary? Consciously acted upon? Do they have an end goal? With these questions in mind, we are ultimately trying to investigate different practices for socio-political change and examining how we can detect it.

We believe that by collecting this information we can create an alternative representation of protest, open debates, raise awareness, and display different conditions of entering and challenging contemporary urgencies. This is an ongoing project that will hopefully result in a series of think tanks.We believe that change can be evoked not only by voicing disapproval, but equally by offering alternative ways to make it sustainable.

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