In many Mediterranean countries we observe newcomers to the political arena: new forms of social networking, growing opposition, and protest articulated by local communities or locally active social movements. In this special issue we present fresh research on such localized practices of resistance by protest groups, solidarity initiatives, and cultural projects which have arisen in the wake of the crisis of 2008. Based on ethnological fieldwork in France, Slovenia, Italy, and Greece, the volume offers insights into the media-based protest against the commodification of the so-called Panier, a historic harbour district of Marseille (Philip Cartelli); urban gardening in Ljubljana as a practice opposing the growing neoliberal market economy (Saša Poljak Istenič); and the movement Genuino Clandestino, a solidarity network of small-scale farmers in Italy (Alexander Koensler). Three more case studies consider social movements in Greece: a solidarity network in Volos, where citizens developed an alternative exchange and trading system (Andreas Streinzer), grassroots mobilizations as resistant practices in the inner urban neighbourhood of Exarchia in Athens (Monia Cappuccini), and finally rural solidarity networks on the Peloponnese peninsula (James Verinis). A comparative discussion of Mediterranean protest movements (Jutta Lauth Bacas and Marion Näser-Lather) identifies underlying common features in these clearly different, yet relatable practices of protest: among others, the major role of face-to-face interaction and mutual trust.
Jutta Lauth Bacas and Marion Näser-Lather
Saša Poljak Istenič