chapter  34
9 Pages

Can ANT be a form of activism?

WithTomás Sánchez Criado, Israel Rodríguez-Giralt

In this chapter, we attempt to think with a concrete set of activist practices: The En torno a la silla collective, and in particular the research engagement afforded by its intense social and material explorations in the environmental intervention and remaking of wheelchair users and their surroundings. We characterise this particular form of research activism as ‘joint problem-making’: Comprising a series of social and material interventions to problematise, transform and account for the worlds being produced together with others. We analyse the impact the movement had on us as researchers – or, to be more specific, on our ways of engaging ethnographically – and consider how this might inspire the ‘experimentally collaborative’ or ‘activated’ ways in which ANT researchers might engage in other activist ecologies. Our hope is that in exploring our engagements with activism, ANT could become a more open and nonconformist research space: An ‘activated’ practice, problematising in newer ways the relationship between description and action, exploring the manifold ways of being an analyst or a researcher that might be available when engaging in activist settings.