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This editorial partnership is funded by the Gendered Ceremony and Ritual in Parliament programme at the University of Warwick
The Political Aesthetics of Power and ProtestParticipants in the Political Aesthetics of Power and Protest workshop at the University of Warwick and others alert to the importance of aesthetics in politics are looking at emotion in politics and how it is so effectively harnessed for political purposes through art.
The state needs the discipline of that smooth consistency, which is embedded in national culture and is displayed through the aesthetics both of everyday rituals and hyper-visible ceremonies, of flags and the ceremonies to unfurl or take them down, of art reflecting the political imaginations of the state elites.
However, political imaginaries are not just those of the powerful, of course. Equally important are the ways in which the aesthetics of power are employed in everyday objects of use, such as calendars, leisure, film, museums and public displays of art, and modes of communication such as humour and vulgarity, ‘the grotesque’ as Achille Mbembe has called it. Aesthetics has developed across these historical boundaries not in any linear way but through struggles of and for meanings and also through reciprocity and intercultural dialogue. Read more...