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Abstract: In 2019, over ten thousand women took the streets in Chile to engage in a collective performance called Un Violador en Tu Camino (“A Rapist in Your Path”). Similar to a flash mob, the crowds chanted and moved in sync, demanding an end to sexual violence against women. Within a few months, Un Violador en Tu Camino was replicated in close to three hundred cities worldwide.
From the beginning, the four women behind the performance— collaborating as artists under the name LASTESIS—had a clear purpose in mind. Accusing the police and other state institutions of oppression, they demanded radical systemic change, with the ultimate goal of defeating the patriarchy.
This case investigates why LASTESIS created their performance and how they intended to spark social change.
(Note that a discussion about this case could generate strong emotions in the classroom.)
Learning Objectives: Learning objectives are to identify and analyze the strategic challenges of the change agents with regard to:
1) Nominating a “private” problem— sexual violence— for public consideration and action.
2) Legitimizing claims about the significance of the problem without having official data to rely on.
In addition, instructors can use the case to introduce philosopher Judith Butler’s “theory of assembly.”