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Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 3.131
Grassroots urban activism in Slovakia: actions in support of democracy and socially and politically marginalized groups (The case of Banská Bystrica)
The paper aims at an ethnographic analysis of local forms of grassroots activism in a medium-size city of Banská Bystrica, Slovakia. It challenges some scholarly literature that focused on the weakness of civil society and the lack of civil engagement in Central and Eastern Europe. It brings an example of new urban activism in Slovakia, focusing on the role and practices of urban activist groups and volunteers, their place in strengthening democracy and civil society, and supporting marginalised groups in the society. The paper aims to provide a micro-level ethnographical insight into operations, activities and motivations of a local activist group „Not in Our Town“ (NIOT), which was created in 2013 as a civic movement against the results of regional elections in which a Neo-Nazi was elected as a regional governor. The NIOT movement has since developed numerous activities and practices with the objective to combat extermism and support solidarity with all marginalised groups in the region.