KKH Royal Institute of Art
DAAS Decolonizing Architecture Advanced Studies
The meaning of resistance – as a collective process – relies upon the active engagement of a local community, through the combination of individual actions, such as volunteer work, and collective actions, such as gathering of signatures or open meetings. Collective resistance stems from local relationships, existing social structures and knowledge gained in previous movements.
Collective resistance requires attentiveness, action and reaction on a group level; it is often a race against time to find alternative solutions to an urgent problem. To resist means to change; to create a new situation coming from the collective initiative, which lies beyond the institutions or power structures. Collective resistance is characterised by non-hierarchical, horizontal structures, established by individuals fully committed to a cause and fighting to improve local or global policies.
Therefore, our notion of collective resistance requires people who can push forward social needs over personal interests, who are involved and committed with a collective idea of changing for the better, for the ‘good living’of our future generations; people who understand that their personal well being depends on the prosperity of the community.
Resistance is closely connected to the bodily experience and biopolitics; protests gain new material form in the gathering of bodies. The march, the protest, mobilisation, made us think that things can be done differently when our point of departure is within a collective union. Resistance, seen as a collective action, seeks to overturn established neoliberal policies, which are normally based on a number of underlying assumptions, reproducing the colonial boundaries and logics of domination and marginalisation.
Resisting dominant hegemonies and power structures requires a shift in our point of departure, from the vertical to the horizontal line, and this can be done through the political action of social movements.