Activism as activating local connection and community care
I recorded a recent Onions Talk podcast episode with Aysen Dennis on redefining activism.
Redefining activism: Local connection and community care #changemakers
Aysen shares her incredible story from Turkey to England, from escaping political imprisonment to building her philosophy around activism — activism as a lifestyle. She offers a different take on activism, beyond demonstrations and protests. Activism is about knowing where you live and the people you live with. It’s about talking to real people, real problems because change comes from how much you work within communities. It’s about sharing with and caring for the people around you.
This episode came about as a personal investigation into what activism really means. We live in a highly divisive world and polaritiy in opinions set people apart within the snap of a finger. I joined demonstrations, from #welcomerefugees demonstrations in London to the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Vest) movement in France, all the while contemplating, is this it?
Is activism just about joining demonstrations every weekend? Is activism about actively sharing posts on social media to address social injustices? Does it have an impact? Is raising awareness enough? Are people really not aware of racism, sexism, climate crisis and all these issues that circulate our day-to-day conversations? Is this all there is to our efforts in addressing these big systemic issues in the world?
The limitation of the loudspeaker
Beyond commenting, sharing and talking, what are the actions that we as individuals are taking to create the change we want to see? I feel a disconnect and a sense that we all seem lost in the noise. There are a lot more words than action out there and change requires sustained, committed effort. This podcast episode with Aysen resonated with me so much because what she’s saying is that activism is a lifestyle. Change comes when you are rooted in your community. Change comes when you care.
What if, the solution to the world’s problems is something really simple, like caring for the people around and the environment we live in?
What does it mean to care?
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🎧Listen to the podcast here.
Onions talk is also available on iTunes, Google podcast and Spotify.