The Eventful Places of Occupy Wall Street and Tahrir Square: Cosmopolitan Imagination and Social Movements

Bjarke Skærlund Risager*

*Corresponding author

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review


In 2011, social movements occupied parks and squares around the world. Occupy Wall Street and the Egyptian uprising were among the most spectacular. In this article, I investigate the physical, symbolic, and performed relationship between these social movements and their occupied places. I claim that these movements (re-)created their occupied places as eventful places where cosmopolitan (re-)creations of collective identity and social relations were imagined, enacted, and became prefigurative microcosms of an alternative communal world. First, based on a critique of mainstream social movement studies, I develop the concept of eventful place and link this to cosmopolitanism. The bulk of the article then examines the eventful (re-)creations that took place in Tahrir Square and Zuccotti Park through first-hand accounts. A critical discussion of the reproduction of conflict in the eventful places then follows. I conclude by suggesting that the eventful and cosmopolitan imagination may live on and inspire future mobilisation.
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)714-729
Antal sider16
StatusUdgivet - 29 jul. 2017
Udgivet eksterntJa


  • Arab Spring
  • cosmopolitanism
  • Occupy Wall Street
  • place
  • prefiguration
  • social movements

Citer dette