7: Feminism and Protest Camps in Spain: From the Indignados to Feminist Encampments

The global wave of social movement struggles between 2011 and 2014 witnessed a revival of encampments as a form of protest. Protest camps were primarily considered as sites of everyday, prefigurative politics, in which an alternative future could be constructed in the here and now. Feminist and queer approaches to encampments, however, have cast light on the prevalence of structural power within them. Through an analysis of the 15-M anti-austerity movement in several Spanish cities in 2011 and of a feminist camp established for International Women’s Day 2020 in Valencia, this chapter will explore both the possibilities and boundaries of protest camps as a form of resistance. It will discuss how safety may be built through recognition strategies that give account of other subjectivities with intersectional vulnerabilities, and how horizontality is always stratified by power. Finally, the chapter updates the concept of woman-only spaces, thanks to the inclusion of Spanish transfeminist experiences in the feminist encampment. From this perspective, if non-mixed camps constantly revise their dynamics of inclusion and exclusion, they can function as a starting point for the recognition of marginal subjectivities and thus for a more genuinely inclusive and transformative politics.

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Feminism and Protest Camps
Entanglements, Critiques and Re-Imaginings