Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Earth Day Talk: Activism, Slacktivism, and Clicktivism
I am often asked to either sing or speak at events, but rarely am I asked to do both. This was precisely what I did at the Edmonton Earth Day Week Kickoff 2014 that took place on April 21 at the Alberta Avenue Community League. Organized by the local Green Party, I was asked to sing a couple of songs and also give a short talk discussing the differences between activism, slacktivism, and clicktivism. I have posted my notes here for others to learn whatever they would like to take away from such a discussion, as well as the actual video of my talk (and the song I chose to follow it up with). Activism vs. "Slacktivism" vs. "Clicktivism" A. Definitions
The Internet/modern technology has opened up new possibilities in activism.
1. Clicktivism: online surveys, petitions, forwarding Facebook statuses, posting links on Twitter
Does not require much effort and can create inflated sense of accomplishment
2. Slacktivism: Term started a few years ago when wearing the yellow "Livestrong" bracelets became popular
Wearing something with a message, possibly just because it is trendy. Che Guevara t-shirt joke (picture of him, underneath: "I don't even know who this is.")
All activists have t-shirts etc. with messages. Can be discussion starters.
I don't like these terms.
Lateral violence: criticising each other's methods and intentions when we should be working together towards common goals.
We need to respect each others' contributions to making a better world.
I am into rallies and marches: some people think they are ineffective. But they can raise awareness of others who see them, and get into media.
We can't always judge the effectiveness of methods.
Can be barriers to taking part in certain activities: sitting at the computer and doing things online may be all someone can do.
I discovered activism online while looking for groups to connect with.
Activism = active.
Requires commitment, lifestyle changes, working towards systemic changes on underlying issues.
D. Bottom Line
Avoid lateral violence.
Support each others' efforts.
Get involved in issues that speak to you.