Truant and initiatory: Local participation through political pilgrimages

Special report: Truant participation
By Elena Apostoli Cappello

By refusing classical participation, radical-left Italian militants seek to escape both the practical categories of the political field, as well as those of political science, which they perceive as a norm. They seek to become politically indefinable. We will analyze alter-globalist rites, which are linked to Zapatism in that they constitute forms of participation. The ceremonial and initiatory aspects related to the journey mark the entry into a militant community. From an anthropological and cognitive point of view, they build a relationship between space and time that is based on an idea of Utopia considered here as a specific cultural construction, the spatiality and temporality of which we will examine here. The spiritual dimension experienced during the journey, and which surrounds it, forms the basis of this truant participation. We will analyze in detail rituals and primitivist narratives that build this initiatory experience.


  • militancy
  • primitivism
  • travels
  • pilgrimages
  • secular rites
  • autochthony
  • neo-ruralism
  • utopia
  • apocalypse
  • environmentalism
  • estrangement
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