I'm Worried About The World...

...But I'm Not Sure I Want To Be An Activist

I’m Worried About The World But I’m Not Sure I Want To Be An Activist
Getting behind and beyond activist stereotypes

What happens when an activist speaks? The activist is reacting: to a situation that is intolerable and must be changed. Their target audience is reacting too, but usually to the activist. The spectacle of activism can be troubling, even if you’re sympathetic to the cause.

Anthea Lawson is investigating the inner life of activism for Perspectiva’s Beyond Activism project. She’s spent many years campaigning: against the arms trade, for an end to tax havens, for a safe pedestrian crossing at the end of her road. Now, she’s been interviewing activists as well as people who can’t bear them. She’s been consulting psychotherapists and reading up on the scholarly study of activism.

The reactions to activism are usually taken as given: too angry, too grubby, too middle class… but what if we take the reactions themselves as the starting point? What can we learn from how people think and feel about activism? How do activists and non-activists exist in the world together? Should we all be activists? Or is it time for a new activism?

Hosted by Perspectiva, with Anthea Lawson (an activist), and Pippa Evans (not an activist), this experiential evening will explore what happens in the space between activists and everyone else.


This event was held on the 9th July 2019, at Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL


Illustration by Paul Foxcroft.

Photography by Juliette Atkinson.

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