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The material recurrence of the barricade throughout the past several centuries and across the globe is complemented by its figurative force in vocabularies of resistance. The barricade is often fetishized as a symbol of self-sacrifice, insurgent heroism, martyrdom, and the politics of antagonism. The more recent return of barricades, from the so-called Arab Spring to the European Indignados and various Occupy movements, allows us to appreciate anew the spirit of the barricades in more varied terms attuned to the combination of vulnerability and resourcefulness that has vividly marked these uprisings. Taking its cues from the emergence of barricades and a number of attendant dynamics during Istanbul’s June 2013 Gezi uprising, and departing from a consideration of the strange combination of anti-instrumentality and untimeliness that barricades embody, this essay explores the role of vulnerability in resistance in terms of its materializations and afterlives.

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