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This essay explores the basis for dialogue at the junction of political theory, historical research and aesthetic analysis. It does so by making two claims. The first one concerns political emergence, which refers to movements that emerge outside democratic institutions and portend profound reorganizations of political order although they are not yet fully recognizable as political entities as they have weak political representation. The second claim implies that aesthetic presentations and performances (fiction, poetry, visual arts, film, theater) offer unique ways of understanding political emergence, and hence also collective protest, revolt and revolution. Artworks embody this potentiality because they register the experience of protests, not as representations of fixed historical agents, but in ways comparable to the testimonial mode of the participant and the witness in situations of social stress, struggle and political violence.