Making Ritual Enactments Political: Free Speech After the Charlie Hebdo Attacks

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    This chapter discusses how free speech emerged after the January 2015 attacks on Charlie Hebdo. It provides a new interpretation of free speech as a material event, which is irreducible to liberal understandings of free speech as a critical or harmful act. The chapter begins by drawing upon theories of ritual enactments and political subjectivity, so as to better identify the creative political dimensions of protest movements. This offers a basis for witnessing how free speech materialized in the Paris ?Je suis Charlie? movement and the Srinagar protests against Charlie Hebdo. The emergence of slogans and objects in demonstrations indicated the transformation of free speech into an object that can be defended or destroyed. In turn, the material crafting of free speech into physical objects, such as banners and effigies, reveal free speech as a clash between iconographic and iconoclastic practices. This chapter develops our understanding free speech?s materialization in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo killings.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRitual and Democracy: Protests, Publics and Performances
    EditorsSarah Pike, Salomonsen Jone, Paul-Fran�ois Tremlett
    PublisherEquinox Publishing
    Number of pages17
    ISBN (Print)9781781799741
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 4 Aug 2020


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