Have We Forgot What Real Activism Should Actually Look Like?
Has Activism Become Trendy?
You’ve just shared a post on Instagram about some relevant issue & went on with your day.
It seems that in times of crisis, everyone rushes about to share the first thing they see.
This is a form of performative activism. However, what has led to this supposed social activism & why can it be problematic?
Performative activism is done when someone posts something to gain attention for themselves rather than the situation at stake. This is done through an illusion of ‘allyship’.
Impact Over Timing
This rise stemmed from “woke culture”. A woke person is generally up-to-date with current affairs & human rights.
On paper, it sounds like a great thing to be but with things like “cancel culture”, it’s been taken too far. Activism has kind of turned into a sort of competition. Who posts the most, who shares the best infographics & who does it first.
This is particularly interesting when we take the local apathy into account. As a nation, at times we seem to give more importance to foreign issues than those closer to home.
If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
Posting Alone Is Hollow
There’s still this arguably naïve belief that people want what’s best for the world, even if we disagree on what the best could be.
In a practising democracy, protests & speaking up should be done on a regular basis. Let’s start an open discussion on how proper change can be created.
Instagram infographics can only do so much. Information is necessary but that doesn’t seem to be an issue with the influx on social media. It should be more about the next step rather than the next post.
We Need To Be Proactive
This is how we can help:
Read before sharing (obvious but not done enough).
Think about the purpose of that post - is it genuinely beneficial or does it just look good?
Don’t rush with the trends & hype.
Find practical ways to help with things like protests & petitions.
Don’t be afraid to do your part in silence.
It can be hard to differentiate between performative activism & true humanitarian action. Limit the amount of misinformation you consume, put in a little effort & you’re good to go.
“You have to unleash anger to get change.”
Andre Callus - Moviment Graffitti