David Thompson has been travelling around South America since he completed his Honours thesis on cosmpolitanism and urban poverty in Latin America at The Univeristy of Sydney, Australia, in late 2010. He is currently in Rio de Janeiro, where he is flash-researching the Ocupa Rio protests.
Ocupa Rio has witnessed many transformations in the composition of protestors, the political organisation of the camp and its material culture. Accompanying all of these changes has also been the development of a discourse of protest which significantly influences how activists relate to each other and the movement itself. Protestors are self-conscious about the impact of certain forms of language, and attempt to institutionalise and take advantage of certain words, discourses and ideas while expelling others.
As a result, language plays a central role in the development of Ocupa Rio as it questions and manipulates dominant political discourses while simultaneously struggling to accommodate alternative modes of expression within the plaza.