Silvia Binenti (UCL) - 2020-21 Students

Mundane objects of popular geopolitics: an ethnography of activist t-shirts

As social life has further embraced performative consumerism and commodification, politically charged commodities have emerged as a form of everyday material culture that acts politically. Many large e-commerce sites now have a section dedicated to “activist” products – clothing in particular – signalling a growing market for “wearing” political views and communicating politically through purposefully designed garments and accessories. In this context, public opinion on geopolitical matters can be seen as an animated battleground of competing objects. Through a multi-sited ethnography, my research aims to study the popular geopolitics of commodities of everyday activism – such as t-shirts with political prints – and explore their ability to shape political affect, discourse, and action.

Primary supervisor: Prof. Jason Dittmer, UCL
Secondary supervisor: Dr. James Kneale, UCL

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