The cultural anthropology of protest against perceived injustice: Introduction to the special issue

  • Baris Cayli Messina
Keywords: cultural anthropology, injustice, protest, culture, social agency


Cultural activities in a social setting offer a common ground to conceive complex power dynamics. Culture has been a place of escape throughout history for dissident people who were oppressed and marginalised by a social system that created injustice for them. The cultural anthropology of protest against the perceived injustice exposes the powerful actors who create injustice and uncovers how people demonstrate their reactions through different instruments in the cultural spectrum. The identification of agencies who create injustice from the point of view of the vulnerable people clarifies the dilemmas of a confrontation in a contested place. However, the articles in this special issue show that this confrontation also needs to be read by centralising the people who are subject to the injustice that forms and shapes different cultural forms at the same time. The cultural forms examined in this special issue indicate that the powerful authorities are not indestructible, and the layers of resistance have complex patterns as much as the structures of authorities do.