The main focus of this project is how the transnational phenomenon of populism not only mobilises people online, but also affects the material conditions of livelihoods and landscapes. We believe that (counter)hegemonic practices intertwine not only in communicational platforms, but also in physical spaces. Populist mobilisation takes place not only on the internet, but also vocally on the streets and even in bottom-up local movements, yet those in power change symbolic landscapes and control the interpretation of the past for their vision of a new future.

Our project seeks to understand how spaces interact in the making of a collective subjectivity and to explore space and physical locations in the performance of the “people”. We study top-down (A & C) and bottom up (B & D) practices, starting from use of institutionalised history and mobilising movements (A & B) and moving to topoi where the past also prevails (C & D).

The project draws on the theories of Ernesto Laclau, Walter Benjamin and Doreen Massey, in particular, generating a connection between politics of meaning-making, space and us making, and reproduction of meanings in physical spaces and virtual flow of images.

Research themes:

A. Hegemonic politics of the past: museums and symbolic urban landscapes

B. Hegemonic mobilisation through historical figures or moments

C. Sports: tools and sites for hegemonic “us” building

D. Beyond hegemony: history, identity and activism in virtual queer spaces