Firstly - activism culminates from the word active.
The question that rises after is who is active and why do you need to be active.
I think and believe that everyone is an activist and we all active on personal level or amongst other people.
My personal definition of activism: is to take an initiate on what you believe in or on what think can make change.
In my bar-camp, i shared experience about the maga don pay versus maga no need pay song. Maga don pay is a song whose lyrics supports the scam done by a few young people in Nigeria while the response maga no need pay song was motivated by social change activists pulling a group of artists together to sing a positive song
it is 3am, I can't sleep. I've made the mistake of reading through a browser tab I had open but neglected for a while and suddenly all I feel is this all encompassing rage. my energy and enthusiasm for the digital natives workshop hits rock bottom.
Digital native Omar Khadr is all I can think about. a child soldier captured by the American invaders attacking an afghan village, he was subjected to torture and solitary confinement for 10 years, most of them without access to legal counsel and without trial. He has been tried under a special military court for war crimes. the layers of injustice are unbelievable, a child soldier is a victim regardless of his actions. but even if we disregard that the alleged war crime is fighting back invaders. and even if we ignore that how is it a war crime to fight soldiers? US wars now are not only unilateral but also one sided by law!? but none of this even scratches the surface of the whole story, the torture, the detention, the dehumanization... I can't go on just read the article
Omar is a digital native but there is more in common between us, he liked Tintin, batman and harry potter for instance. As proof of his danger to "civilized" people his resilient unbroken spirit was cited!!!
Now in a gathering of Africans with people who personally witnessed, lived through or lived in proximity if equally horrendous injustice why is the plight of this particular child soldier filling me with rage? is it because he is like me? a digital native? a Muslim? is it because his torturers are democratically elected and his torture chamber paid for by free tax payers many of them supportive of the abuse?
I frantically search my mind for inspiration for hope, the past two days I enjoyed telling my stories about fighting injustice from my context and experience. but today I realized my stories are all about defeats. none of them have a happy ending (though I usually ramble on until I run out of time and avoid offering an ending at all).
Today I told the story of another digital native, Khaled Said, a 28 years old Egyptian from Alexandria who was tortured to death by two policemen in the street in front of his neighbours. Egypt has a long dark history of torture and police brutality; a topic I'm unfortunately familiar with from family experiences, activism and just reading the news. For decades there was very little resistance to torture, only a handful of very dedicated activists tried to tackle the issue, most victims where silent. recently things have changed with more and more people confronting the issue (police brutality is also increasing), the shift has a variety of reasons but among them is the rise in the use of online social media for activism.
In teaching kids in high schools how to use social media to make a positive impact in communities, we use this video which is a bunch of random and interesting stats about social media and how people have used these tools to make a difference in their causes. I believe many of you can relate.