About this Event
This talk explores the formation and diminishment of collective hope in Vietnam by tracing the
Facebook-based circulation, intensification, and attenuation of affective engagement with the
Đồng Tâm land dispute in Hanoi from April 2017 to September 2020. The dispute enables us to
conceptualize online activism as essentially fueled by collective embodiment of hope, understood as temporalized openness toward the ‘not-yet’ that stretches beyond pre-existing agendas. The magnitude of online activism depends not on the network itself but on how new media facilitate an attunement between the public and the latent force of subaltern dissensus. When such connection was disrupted, political hope faded when it was enveloped by endless crises habituated by the network. With implications in Vietnam and beyond, the talk highlights
hope as a political affect and a political capacity indispensable in social struggles, which
enables us to embrace instead of enclosing the precarious possibilities of change.