and song expressing the rage against themachine, it resonated across borders, languages, and cultures. “A Rapist in Your Path” features chants, blindfolds, squats, and dance steps, subverting the uses of intimidation tactics by law enforcement into an expression of female defiance repeated on collective registers as it traveled fromone city to another. The strategies of resistance that require basic skill building and the high levels of circulation and diversification prove the relevance of this message for women in cities across the globe. Let’s acknowledge the theoretical underpinnings of the choreographies of protest, the cultural and historical roots of gestures and pragmatic political goals, in the formulation of strategies emerging in different parts of the world, even as they circulate globally. Let’s develop analytical tools for understanding these new configurations in the triangulation of art, theory, and performative aesthetics. 10
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Let’s turn to the work of artists and their contribution to the semiotics of protest as an active, performative, and creative act of public expression, demand, and vision. It is in these qualities of protest that the emergence of new communicative languages is shaping hope on a variety of fronts. The protest as image is itself a trope for the will of a forward-looking and demanding populace that is offering a better alternative or
10. For more on this topic, see Susan Leigh Foster, “Choreographies of Protest,” Theatre Journal 55, no. 3, (October 2003): 395–412.
25 Betti -Sue Hertz
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