Taking Part

As usual, the G8 meeting, this time in Heiligendamm, is one giant spectacle for everyone involved. Elected politicians, bureaucrats, police, protesters, and journalists use each other for numerous ends and dead ends. Cameras, recorders, and various forms of wireless communication are ubiquitous. Everything is documented, communicated, mediated, endlessly recycled, repackaged, and reused.

This also counts for the protestors’ tactical repertoire, closely monitored not only by the police and by their fellows around the world, but also by ‘the suits’ on the other side of the many fences.

Adding irony to the hopes and tragedies of these meetings, precisely here, at the front line between those who are trying to take a part they have not been offered, and the forms of obstruction and repression they are met with, numerous new forms of political organization and action are being developed that will, if the historical record is anything to go by, later be appropriated by precisely the state-bound political process of legitimization that the protestors are challenging.

Many of the current buzzwords of participation in state and electoral politics are old news to those who try to take part in Heiligendamm these days—they where using social networking softwares, cell phone based forms of communication, and online video bases like youtube before they became part of the lingo of electoral politics. And they are ahead again—an example: search Flickr for pictures of Heiligendamm + G8, and ask yourself who got the better of whom on that digital front?


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