Vulnerability as a Protest Tactic

This project builds from the groundwork on vulnerability laid in the project The Violence of Nonviolence. It explores the notion that demonstrating the pleasure—rather than just the pain—of vulnerability can serve as a useful protest tactic. Among the case studies explored in this project are protests and activism in the LGBTQ community whose participants celebrate the pleasures of vulnerability while remaining acutely aware of the way in which the very same vulnerability opens them up to retaliatory violence and its accompanying pain. This project will demonstrate how studying protestors’ use of vulnerability (defined as openness to both harm and human connection) can provide insight into social movements’ ethics and their ability to promote social change.

Source for thumbnail photograph: Tony Webster
2013 Twin Cities Pride Parade, Minneapolis