Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

Protest in the 21st century: Is naked the new balaclava?

Louis, W. and Thomas, E.F. (2014) Protest in the 21st century: Is naked the new balaclava? The Conversation, 17 February 2014 .

Free to read:
*No subscription required


For those of us who grew up with marches and rallies as the default type (or stereotype) of protest, some of the 21st-century forms – such as The World Naked Bike Ride or Nannas Knitting Against Gas and Greed – raise new questions. Are these new “peaceful” methods of protest replacing rallies and riots? What about e-activism? How are trends changing, and do any of these methods work better to change the world?

Let us first ask: why nude knitting?

Shocking and comforting, intimate and public, it was only a matter of time before the nude knitting protest undertaken by “performer craftivist” Casey Jenkins last year. But in fact nudity and protest have a long history.

Activists pursue two broad goals: to convert decision-makers, the public or third parties to their cause; and to confront political opponents, or the perceived sources of problems, and persuade them to stop doing something.

When more ideologically-compatible governments are in power, activists aim to convert decision-makers: they often use conventional methods to bring issues into the public eye so that favourably-minded governments have an excuse to act.

Item Type: Non-refereed Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Psychology and Exercise Science
Publisher: The Conversation Media Group
Copyright: The Author
Publisher's Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page