Summary: In this conversation Butler and Athanasiou explore the parameters of the public performance of political dissent. They discuss instances of political protest that link up to Butler and Athanasiou’s shared sense of performativity. For the two of them, performativity is the aspect of our social life that manifests surprise, challenge and urgency through the human body. This makes the performative an especially effective instrument against the disparity, dispossession and desperation the better part of humanity is forced to endure.
Comment: This text is best used as a further or specialised reading in classes on political dissent and subversion of social norms. It can inspire interesting discussions on ways to express dissent and protest, and can be very useful in discussions of politically involved art.