Blog for Urban Mill by Aliaksei Zanouski 30.12.2020, heading and subheadings by Urban Mill.
”My name is Aliaksei Zanouski. I am an architect and a student at the Urban Studies and Planning master program at Aalto University. During Urban Mill’s Otaniemi recycling days in December 2020, I had an interesting and fruitful discussion with Lars Miikki, co-founder and co-producer at Urban Mill. This occasional meeting reminded me of importance to be in the same space for networking and how casual small talk leads to an interesting discussion. I want to share with you some highlights of our conversation.”
Connective individual actions through social media networks
In August as a response on fraudulent elections mass protests swept across Belarus demanding democracy and end of the 26-year authoritarian rule of Alexander Lukashenko. Despite a shocking amount of violence used against peaceful demonstrators, protests keep going since August. Media write a lot about Belarus recently. However, what is missing from international media coverage is an inner dynamic of the uprising which could be interesting to those who are interested in urbanity.
Like many other recent social movements uprising in Belarus could be categorized as a connective action. Coordination almost absent, the role of political parties and structures wasn’t significant. The movement was based on personalized content sharing across social media networks. Leaderless action without a defined political structure seems more sustainable against the repressive machine in a short term. Nevertheless, in most cases we know, connective action cannot sustain in a long run. Movements built on a mostly virtual ‘weak tie’ networks failing to get offline and build their own political structures. Is it the case in Belarus?Lue loppuun