She has unbrushed messy hair pulled together hastily to a bun around the nape of her neck, thick black framed glasses, a black or grey wrinkly Kurti- with a voice that demands attention and awe, she is speaking into a microphone to a big group of people, or she is leading a protest along the streets spurting out phrases like ‘fuck patriarchy’ or imagine this, a facebook timeline that is constantly updated with snarky, well-researched opinionated posts about recent political events (here also the girl behind the words has unbrushed messy hair)- these are my images that come to my mind when I hear the word activist.
I am sure a lot of us would like to live in a post racist, post sexist, and global-warming-and-psychiatry-believing world, but a lot of us also feel helpless in the enormity of the task ahead to build the world like that. Also, with the myriad responsibilities that come with adulting, it is sometimes a bit difficult to pause and care about a war happening on the other side of the globe. So we feign an indiffernce and go about living our lives . Its not that we don’t care but we don’t know where to start or what to do. We just wait for someone else with a messy bun and a microphone to lay the bricks for building a better world.
There is a quote that I came across sometime ago, it goes something like this “A writer is important to a war as a writer”. Does it mean it is to possible to fight a war without being in the the battlefield? Fight may be not, but prevent? we can try our best. Art has the extraordinary capability of connecting people and transcending boundaries. There might be as many ways of activism as there are people.
100thousand poets for change is a movement spanning the globe that aims at the transformation towards a more sustainable world. They have a global event happening every year in September where poets, artists, musicians, are all invited to share their original or inspired works and to reach out to fellow artists locally and globally to form a community working towards peace and sustainabilty. I have been taking part in this event for the past two years in collaboration with a local bookstore. And this year the event date is September 24th Saturday.
This might be a starting place for a lot us struggling to find an answer to the questions, what can we do and where can we start?
How can you participate?
- You can share a piece of music or writing or art of any form that symbolises the kind of change that you would like to see in this world.
- Check out if there are already any events happening in your area. The website has an exhaustive lists of events all over the globe.
- You can host an event locally.
- You can host a web discussion group focusing on topics like sustainabilty and peace.
- Start a hastag and encourage artists to join and share their works online.
You can find more prompts and ideas on the website http://100tpc.org/.
A brief description about the event we are participating in this year locally,
With climate change in the news more and more, we often tend to ignore the issue or to succumb to numbness or fear. What’s needed is accurate information and clear thinking. As a start, we can remember and celebrate our connections to the earth and our interactions with and dependence on the natural world.
We invite poets, prose writers, singers, musicians and dancers to join us on Saturday, September 24 to share their original writing and compositions inspired by or featuring the natural world and human connections to the earth.
I encourage all of my fellow bloggers to use this powerful platform we have, on saturday the 24th to write, be it about race, culture, mental health, feminism, freedom of speech…..It doesn’t have to be a long piece with intimidating jargons and statistics and numbers, we have enough of that already. Let us bring forward personal experiences and stories. If it is just two lines of an unfinished poem, so be it. If it makes it easier for you I am going to share a short story of a talking frog.
I will leave you with this beautiful quote,