Publication details [#59206]

García Agustín, Óscar and Félix J. Aguirre Díaz. 2014. Spatial practices and narratives: The GenkiDama for Education by Chilean Students. Journal of Language and Politics 13 (4) : 732–754.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


The Chilean students’ rebellion emerged in 2011 within the wave of global protests. Even though it is an organized movement, with roots in a specific historical context, it shares with the global movement the use of new media technologies, the appropriation of public spaces, and the concern for democracy and equality. The movement deploys flexible forms of organization and mobilization such as flash mobs, in the case analyzed in this article, the GenkiDama for Education. The students create a narrative based on the famous Manga series Dragon Ball Z to reframe the conflict between students and government. As Manga fans, they open up participation to other less politically defined identities. The flash mob moment works as a communicative event in which the narrative is put into place and strengthens a sense of community in the streets of Santiago de Chile. To analyze the connections between the fictional narrative of Manga and the use of the public space, this paper draws on Michel de Certeau’s theory on spatial practices and the function of stories and place/space. Spatial practices during the flash mob challenge the social and spatial order in order to represent a symbolic victory of the students over the political system.