2020 Online: Mobilizing the Planet Digitally

While the Network planned for months for WWNA 2020 to be held in Prague in October 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic rendered a face-to-face event impossible. The Network considered all possibilities and took a slight detour to the decided topic of Mobilizing the Planet and held a mini-event online titled Mobilizing the Planet Digitally.

On top of crippling health and economic crises brought on by COVID-19, 2020 was characterized by the mobilization of groups who, some due to the various global ‘lockdowns’ and some independent of them, found themselves needing to use the internet to gather, share information, and mobilize in order to engender substantial social change. Here is where WWNA 2020 set its sights. Following an uproariously successful online WWNA, the Network plans for a fully fledged WWNA: Mobilizing the Planet in Summer 2021.


WWNA 2020: Mobilizing the Planet Digitally is the 8th annual symposium that explores the different applications of anthropology.

Since “the first digital revolution” that connected Zapatistas in Chiapas with social movements and struggles all across the world, digital technology has become an inseparable element of social movements and their mobilization strategies. From the square revolutions in the Middle East to the citizens’ uprisings across Southern Europe, today we cannot imagine social movements without online mobilization tools as one of the crucial components of grassroots collective action.

At the same time, the Digital world is changing and evolving at an unprecedented speed. As the Internet has provided possibilities for the utilization of more democratic and horizontal participation, the issues of privacy, surveillance, and the digital divide have equally emerged. Questions around the potential of data activism, forms of re-appropriation of the power of big data in pursuing social justice, or the role of algorithms in activist tactics are opening up.

In our online discussion, we want to explore the potential of these mobilizations, such as the mobilizations of Polish feminist movement, diverting the abortion ban proposed by the Polish government during the national lockdown emergency.

By diving into effectiveness, limits and contentions of digital activism across multiple contexts, we aim to inspire and share possibilities of digital mobilizing for a more just and equal world.


“Why the World Needs Anthropologists in the Post-Covid World” Book Launch and Panel Debate

Organisers: Mina Baginova, Marie Heřmanová and Petra Smutná

The authors and the editors of the first collection of essays, the book project initiated by the Applied Anthropology Network, meet to clash over the future of the discipline in a post-covid world and to celebrate the “birth” of their collective project.

You can order ‘Why the World Needs Anthropologists’ book here.

Keynote Speech by Marianne Maeckelbergh | In memory of David Graeber, anthropologist, anarchist and activist

Organisers: Mina Baginova, Marie Heřmanová and Petra Smutná

Marianne Maeckelbergh is a Professor of Political Anthropology at Ghent University, Belgium and Professor of Global Sociology at Leiden University, the Netherlands. Her research explores how people’s everyday political practices inform and transform the way we understand democracy. See below for her full bio.

This year’s keynote address was dedicated to renowned anarchist anthropologist and activist, David Graeber, who sadly passed away earlier this year at the age of 59.

“Mobilizing Online: Social Movements & Digital Activism Today” Roundtable discussion

Organisers: Mina Baginova, Marie Heřmanová and Petra Smutná

With five speakers – Alex Khasnabish, Stefania Milan, Lü Pin (吕频), John Postill and Emiliano Treré – working on/with social movements, activism, and digital mobilizing, we explored the potentials and frictions of digital activism in current crises. The presentations were available to registered WWNA participants in advance. View the speakers’ biographies below.

An Annual Meeting of the EASA Applied Anthropology Network

Convenors: Laura Korčulanin, Verónica Reyero, Hélène Veiga Gomes and Pavel Borecký

We cordially invited all network members and interested parties to collectively assess and plan future activities. The focus was given to the growth of Satellite Events in 2021 and results of the Convenor Elections were announced.

WWNA 2020 was organized by:

Cristiana “Kika” Barreto, Pavel Borecký, Hélène Veiga Gomes, Bhavesh Jadva, Laura Korčulanin, Karen Langvik, Verónica Reyero 

16-17 October 2020

Prague, Czech Republic

  • Marianne Maeckelbergh (Leiden University and Ghent University)
  • Alex Khasnabish (Mount Saint Vincent University)
  • John Postill (Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology)
  • Lü Pin (PhD candidate, Rutgers University)
  • Emiliano Treré (Cardiff University)
  • Stefania Milan (University of Amsterdam)

Get more info here >>

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