Introducing the Protestas webseries. Comparing Social Movements Across Latin America

Seven countries. Protestas webseries. CERI Olivier Dabene

In Latin America, 2019 was marked by huge social protests in favour of redistributive policies and social reforms, often led by the feminist movements. But when the epidemic of COVID-19 struck the world, without sparing the Latin American continent, the “Latin American spring” had to adapt in order to keep the momentum and not just give up on hopes of social and political progress. The Protestas webseries tells the story of this reinvention in the face of a global health crisis. Born from the collaboration between journalists and scholars from the Political Observatory of Latin America and the Caribbean (OPALC/ CERI/Sciences Po), the webseries presents eight episodes, each focusing on a specific country (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, Peru, and France). The Protestas series explores the tireless creativity of these movements on the continent, and their resonance, beyond.


For Olivier Dabène , President of OPALC and researcher at the CERI, “the idea behind this project was to reach a wider audience than the academic public who generally reads our books and attends our conferences.” Through short videos indeed, research results can be easily disseminated and can appeal to a new audience. These videos are also a good media for collective discussion. The project is part of a l arger research-action project , funded through the Charles Leopold Mayer Foundation Foundation for the Progress of Humankind , a foundation that is very attached to the dissemination of knowledge in favour of social and political change.


Olivier Dabène worked together with a group of seven researchers, all part of OPALC and two journalists. Some members of the academic team did their PhD at Sciences Po while there are also two students from Sciences Po. Only three members of the team (two students and Olivier Dabène) are based in France. The others work in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Costa Rica.


The team of eight researchers worked with two journalists—filmmakers—Margot Loizillon and Raphael Lubczanski. The method chosen by the two filmmakers was to avoid using a commentator, the idea being that activists should claim their message, without any explanation or any analysis on the part of the researchers.

When the pandemic appeared, the group had to change and adapt both questions and methodology. The project was no longer an analysis of the diverse forms of activism, it had become a real-time observation of how actors adapt to a totally new situation. How were protests still possible in times of COVID? Did activists slow down? Did they drop off? Actually, as the videos show, the pandemic did not stop social movements and protests.

Street Art extract from the Protestas webseries

Extract from "Colombia and Mexico. Street art Without Streets"


The teaser video presents the webseries, the countries under scrutiny, the team, the actors.

The webseries is composed of eight videos, all available with English subtitles:


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