‘I can’t breathe’: Metabolising (im)mobile antisocialities

Anna Reading*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter takes as its starting point the #Black Lives Matter slogan ‘I can’t breathe’ cycling through intersectional mediations and mobilisation to develop an emergent analytical framework for immobile antisocialities. It draws on multi-disciplinary approaches beyond media studies to create a conceptual framework that gives air to elements that are immobile and antisocial. The chapter asks, how do we understand the experience of interruption and amplified displacement arising from locative, temporal and social breakage experienced during stoppages of movement which we might conceptualise as immobile socialities? How do we understand what happens to sociality when movement and close contact between people is regulated and curtailed as in the 2020 COVID 19 lockdowns, as result of protests and blockades or as a result of police or security checkpoints? Two main ideas are suggested: the idea of a ‘respiratory ontology’ to suggest how mobility and immobility, sociality and antisociality give life to each other, and secondly, as part of this, the idea of radical antisociality.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of Mobile Socialities
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781000377095
ISBN (Print)9780367543976
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2021


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