Searching for Glastopolitics
I’ve mentioned the impressive project @thinkactvote on how we can dream different futures and what motivated my good friend @amishaghadiali to start a different more creative kind of politics. Thanks to her and the Think Act Vote for getting me involved in this new venture and for reminding me the song I want to take to my future. The following article was first published here.
?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?
NH: The future I choose is “a Glastopolitics, where groups can work together where they feel most comfortable, whether that’s on the fringes or on the main stage”.
Glastonbury is a hive of creativity and disruption all in the open air. But what’s that got to do with creative activism?
Well, we may not call it research when we ask people out of work what would help them, because for them it’s just what we do. We may not call it developing a service when we set up a project to help people have a conversation with the police, because it’s just what we do. We may not call it social entrepreneurship when we want to make internships fairer, it’s just what we do. We may not call it campaigning when we bring in designers and artists to…think, act and vote, it’s just what we do. We may not call it Glastopolitics, because it’s just what we do. Glastopolitics weaves relationships amongst networks of passionate people. It crafts mini social movements through deep collaboration between people from different walks of life. It threads ideas together to create better conditions for campaigns and projects to get in the spotlight. Unlike Glastonbury you never get bogged down, but you can get sticky.
When I submitted this future to Think Act Vote, Glastopolitics was the first thing that came to mind and it sounded similar to Glasnostpolitics which characterised the necessary but cold consensus politics that has drove all feeling out of social change. But this picture describes far better what I meant that that initial sound bite. Glasto’s time has come, it’s time to pitch our metaphorical tents in Tahrir!
?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?
NH: Seeing what people came up with at Visual Camp has helped me make sense of really complex issues. You don’t only get a better picture of what people feel, but can find (and sketch!) connections between what they have in common.
Visualisation can change the dynamic of how people work as a group and how we observe how people feel. This is more important than ever in times when people will need to look out for each other even more than before
People no longer know what the future holds for them, whether knowing if they’re going to go to university or whether they can get the job they studied for. Visualising the different pathways could help them understand where the opportunities are.
So if there are difficult choices that you’re faced with, why not try and doodle what you feel. If you’re not sure how you could use your skills, why not try and sketch out what you’d like to do and what’s holding you back. If there’s a complex issue a group of you need to tackle, try and visualise it. Thinkyou can’t draw?
?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose
NH: Do something that challenges you, you’ll be surprised as what you can do. Do something where you can be creative, and you’ll want to learn even more. Do something crafty, and you can interpret that as you wish! And so I’ll be crafty and use this as an opportunity to plug the Festival we’re planning. This is what happened this year and this is how we did it. What activities are we organising for the next Festival. We’re waiting for your “crafty” ideas!
?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?
NH: We do what we see, we do what we feel, we do what we hear. So I’m not going to try and persuade you to support the Community Allowance, a campaign I feel really deeply about to support young people out of work. Just take a minute (even grab a cuppa) to listen to this — All Doled Up — Radio Roughcut.
As someone who took part in the Campaigns Camp said where the mini radio show you’ve just heard was created — “It’s not what I know, it’s not what you know, it’s what we know”. Because our generation really is “all doled up and skilled up”.
?!X: Future Soundtrack — What song would you take with you into the future?
NH: “I’ll take care of you” by Gil Scott Heron remixed by Jamie XX