World in Revolt 2020
— January 5, 2021

2020… a year that will go down in history as the year of the corona crisis. The pandemic dominated the world news and seemed to push other important topics, such as climate change or civil wars, into the background. But even a virus could not stop people from rebelling, cherishing hope and demanding change. Here is an overview of some of the powerful bodies in revolt from 2020.

Lebanon: Four hundred protesters were injured in protests against the new government in Lebanon in february 2020. Since mid-October 2019, Lebanese have regularly taken to the streets to protest against the government, partly because of the widespread corruption in the country. There is little faith – especially among the protesters – that the new government can tackle the problems in Lebanon. Photo: Ibrahim Amro / AFP 

India: With the world’s largest lockdown and the promise of $2 billion for new intensive care units and respirators, amongst other things, the Indian government hopes to prevent an impending catastrophe. With health care creaking under a lack of money and manpower, the consequences of a large-scale outbreak in India are incalculable. By clapping, ringing, beating on gongs, on pans or clattering with cutlery, the Indians thanked the medical staff and all those who are working hard to get the outbreak under control. Photo Divyakant Solanki/EPA

Uganda: Ugandan activist Stella Nyanzi was arrested during a protest for more food support to the poorest in the country. According to Nyanzi, during the corona crisis and the current lockdown, the authorities are doing far too little for residents who are struggling financially due to the outbreak. Photo Sumy Sadurni/AFP

The Netherlands: On May 25th, American George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis. The death of the unarmed black man led to days of protests against police violence and for the rights of black Americans, also in Europe. But mass demonstrations are complex because of the coronavirus. Here, in Zwolle, people are protesting while keeping 1,5m distance.  Photo Vincent Jannink / EPA

USA: A naked women faces the federal security forces sent by U.S. President Donald Trump to the city of Portland to protect federal monuments and buildings. There was a big dissatisfaction and indignation at the actions of these forces of law and order.  Photo: Nathan Howard/Reuters 

Belarus: Since the presidential elections on August 9th, Belarus has been turbulent. According to the official result, Aleksandr Lukashenko, who has been in power for 26 years, won the elections, but the opposition and many Belarusians do not trust the result at all. Many prominent members of the opposition, including their candidate, Svetlana Tichanovskaya, were forced to go abroad or were arrested. Photo: TUT.BY / AFP

Artic Ocean: Eighteen-year-old Mya-Rose Craig, sitting on an ice floe in the Arctic Ocean, tries to draw attention to climate change. On the 23rd of September it was announced that in an ever warmer world the ice cap in Antarctica is not going to melt evenly, but by leaps and bounds. Once this has started, it will hardly be reversible, according to new research. Photo: Natalie Thomas / Reuters

Yemen: The school of these students in Taez, the third largest city in Yemen, was severely damaged by an air raid two years ago. The country is torn by civil war. There may be a glimmer of hope for the citizens: the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels reached an agreement on the exchange of over a thousand prisoners. The agreements are seen as a first but important step towards a national ceasefire and the search for a political solution to the civil war. Photo: Ahmad Al-Basha/AFP

Peru: The Peruvian parliament approved the deposition of President Martin Vizcarra, who is accused of taking bribes in 2014 when he was governor. According to his supporters, the deposition procedure is a trick to get rid of him: Vizcarra is popular with the people, but not in parliament. His supporters immediately took to the streets to protest against the new government. He is the third president in Peru in four years. Photo: Ernesto Benavides /AFP

Italy: In this nursing home in Castelfranco Veneto, about sixty kilometers northwest of Venice, residents and their loved ones can hug each other in a so-called cuddle room. The plastic secretion makes it possible to have physical contact – good for mental and emotional well-being – and to be protected against the coronavirus. Photo Piero Cruciatti /AFP

Thailand: A demonstrator at the so-called Bad Student protests in Bangkok. Thai students have taken to the streets in recent weeks to speak out against the arrests of young protesters in Thailand and for freedom of speech.  Photo Mladen Antonov / AFP

Turkey: A unique protest against the treatment of Turkish women. Artist Sayna Soleimanpour does a photo shoot on a street in Istanbul, completely abandonned because of the current curfew. In this way she tries to draw attention to the mistreatment and alienation of women who are not properly dressed. Photo: Umit Bektas /Reuters

— Article written by Ingrid van Schijndel

1 Comment

  1. Joost Vrouenraets

    It’s moving to see these bodies revolt, gives some more context and pulls me a bit out of the focus on Corona. Cause yes, indeed it seems Corona claims all our attention…

    As a reaction on how to use the body in reaction on the restrictions of government, please follow up our peaceful action of the body, without complaint anger or resistance, but an inspiration that hopefully encourages exploration of possibilities within restrictions.


    Do we need to be angry? I find this an interesting and necessary question to be unpacked.


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