Don’t they really represent us?

Being both activists and researchers at the time of the ‘Spanish Revolution’

  • Luca Sebastiani CES Coimbra
  • Ariana S. Cota Universidad de Granada


In this article we position ourselves as socially and politically committed anthropologists, thinking about the possible ways research and activism come together in contemporary anthropology. We emphasize how critical social sciences have contributed to this debate mainly around two key ideas: the democratization of knowledge production and the politicization of that knowledge. We examine our experiences in the Spanish 15M movement and share four examples -two ‘failed’ and two ‘successful’ experiences- in which we discuss two key aspects of being activist academics. First, the difficulties and advantages of doing activism and research as a combined anthropological engagement; and, secondly, the usefulness of combining a long-term commitment to social justice as an effort to democratize mechanisms of knowledge production.


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How to Cite
SEBASTIANI, Luca; COTA, Ariana S.. Don’t they really represent us?. Commoning Ethnography, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, p. 55-71, dec. 2018. ISSN 2537-9879. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 20 feb. 2020. doi: