Activism and Desire: The Affect in and Around Protests

Art and Activism (series)


In this series, students from the Graduate School of Humanities at the University of Amsterdam (UvA) explore the complex overlaps and conversations between art and activism. They seek to illustrate how artistic practices often speak to the urgency of protest and activism, and how activism intertwines with the demands of art. In the form of close analysis, interviews, and creative responses, these works trace the prevalent links between art and activism through the relationships between space, the everyday, and explicit or underlying modes of resistance.

These podcast episodes were created by students in the Masters course Art and Activism, and were originally published here.


This particular episode explores the affect of protest through an assemblage of artistic and academic perspectives. You will hear two friends after having attended a protest, thinking through the experience. The two characters embody many of our own feelings, observations and concerns regarding art and activism. They reflect on their experience by referencing poetry, theory and even some pop culture. The podcast investigates how the bodily affect of protest translates into desire when entering art. Our goal is to not only examine the activism in art, but also the art in activism.


Wasse Jonkhans, Kimberly Peuling, Rowan Stol, and Lily Tronciu

Character 1 – Kimberly Peuling
Character 2 – Rowan Stol
Academic Voice – Wasse Jonkhans
Poetic Voice – Lily Tronciu

Wasse Jonkhans & Marius Kooy


  • Jasper, James M. “The Emotions of Protest : Affective and Reactive Emotions In and Around Social Movements.” Sociological Forum, vol. 13, no. 3, 1998, pp. 397–424.
  • Kleres, Jochen, and Åsa Wettergren. “Fear, Hope, Anger, and Guilt in Climate Activism.” Social Movement Studies, vol. 16, no. 5, 2017, pp. 507–19.
  • Quinn, Hannah E. “My Protest Body: Encounters with Affect, Embodiment, and Neoliberal Political Economy.” New Proposals: Journal of Marxism and Interdisciplinary Inquiry, vol. 9, no. 2, 2018, pp. 51–65.
  • Shilling, Chris, and Philip Mellor. “Durkheim, Morality and Modernity: Collective Effervescence, ‘Homo Duplex’ and the Sources of Moral Action.” The British Journal of Sociology, vol. 49, no. 2, 1998, pp. 193–209.
  • Smith, Danez. “Tonight, in Oakland.” The Poetry Foundation, Accessed 1 Apr 2020.
  • Spahr, Juliana. “It’s All Good, It’s All Fucked.” That Winter the Wolf Came, Commune Editions, 2015, pp. 65–79.

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