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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.44

Emotional spaces: Affective affinities as tools of resistance


  • Dr. Monika BAER

Primary authors


In spite of conventional thinking, politics and emotions are closely related. As “discursive public forms” (Appadurai 1990), emotions may channel capillary power of governmentality, which leads people toward certain political ides, positionings and acts. At the same time, they may also initiate grassroots political pressures against subjects socially and/or politically legitimized in the field of power. Consequently, emotions both manipulate and motivate individuals to stage collective actions and thereby, create affective affinities in the sphere of political. Because politically driven initiatives are commonly aimed at or against particular forms of “change,” they also involve more or less thoroughly defined images of the future. Rooted in uncertainty, these anticipations frequently evoke anxiety and fear, but also open horizons of hope. In the proposed paper I discuss emotionally loaded narratives that accompanied a takeover of a couple of villages of the Dobrzeń Wielki commune by the city of Opole (PL). Both in a period when the commune’s partition was only anticipated future and when it was the actual fact, inhabitants’ engagement in different types of resistance was triggered by and brought forth various forms of affective affinities. In this context, I analyze how these workings of emotions shaped discursive practices in the field of political marked by conflicts and relations of power extending in different local and supralocal directions. I pay particular attention to interrelated anticipations of “the dark” and “the good” (Ortner 2016), which defined internal dynamics of the discussed emotional spaces always already oriented toward uncertain future.