The essay offers a case study of the student occupation of Sofia University in October-December 2013, which occurred as a continuation of the political turmoil of the same year in Bulgaria. Throughout the year 2013 Bulgarians went out in the streets to express their outrage with ‘monopolies’, oligarchic economic structures, political corruption and unresponsive government. The two previous waves of protest are briefly outlined to provide the context of emergence of the student occupation. The text analyses the strategies for building networks of support, borrowing a theoretical framework from Manuel Castells in his study of the social movements from 2011. The present study is grounded on in-depth anthropological interviews with participants and data collected through online ethnography. The conclusions identify the reasons for the difficulties met by the occupying students: while admitting faults in establishing communication patterns, they created more lines of division than common grounds for collective action.

Language of contribution: English

Download pdf