Judith Butler formulates the ethics of protest and the politics of the streets in her book, Notes to a performative theory of assembly, published 2016. The ideas of inter and intracommunity which voice demands when taking their vulnerable bodies and lives to the streets is underlined by protest songs enabling the voices of precarity to be heard, and the street allowing the faces of austerity to appear. Combining both dimensions strengthens an ethical approach based on community with the voiceless othered person.
Enabling a discussion between Butler’s theory on assembly and protest music/movements offers an interesting insight into the possibilities of performative activism in the face of seemingly inescapable political and social regimes. Combining the relation between those two fields can challenge new ideas on both music and individual or collective political activism.
Dahlia Borsche is Research Associate in the Department of Musicology and Media Studies at Humboldt University Berlin, where her research interests focus on contemporary and transcultural music processes, thereby expanding traditional discipline boundaries to the fields of sound, urban and cultural studies.
Carla Schriever, PhD attained at the Humboldt University in Berlin, studied Philosophy and English at the University of Oldenburg. She teaches diversity ethics in Oldenburg, Marburg, Hamburg, and Vienna. She concluded her PhD in June 2016 with interviews with Judith Butler in Berkeley.
Matthias Haenisch is a research associate of the research group “MuBiTec – Music learning with mobile technologies” (University of Cologne, Berlin University of the Arts, University of Erfurt, University of Lübeck; promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science), where his research concerns, among other things, questions of socialization, subjectification and aesthetic experience in postdigital communities.