Jordan's campaign #ActionsOverTrends is essential to the whole Making for Change project. While activism is important, it's equally crucial to consider the intent and outcome of it.

 

When does activism become performative?

As activism increasingly goes online, the passivity of posting without thought can be harmful to the individual as well as society as a whole. This campaign shows how making can counter this, exploring its different forms including:

  • A board game

  • Zinemaking

  • Book-making

  • A Jigsaw Puzzle

Even better, Jordan looks at other social action campaigns to help you critique your own efforts. Let's be thoughtful about our activism, not reactionary.

<<read Jordan's zine

If you didn't post about it, did it even happen?

When action and provoking real social change is a long and often thankless process, is 'slacktivism' easier? 

Jordan's first experiment with a game sees players try to answer questions about well-known campaigns like the 'Ice Bucket Challenge' in 2014. It proves how digital social action can possibly lead to three main negative outcomes:​

  • A 'bandwagon' effect

  • No actions

  • No solutions 

How many people continued to support the cause after digitally participating? Instead, Jordan's game pieces represent the complacency caused by the instant gratification of likes, retweets and other rewards over long-term commitment.

Your Turn To make

What's one non-performative action that you can take now for an issue you're passionate about?

 

Make a zine about your issue? You could make multiple copies to share with people, or share it online.

 

Make a patch to wear? Patches worn on bags, jackets or other garments mean you can carry your activism with you wherever you go and are a great way to start a conversation about your issue.

Draw a calendar featuring activities like a minimal-waste day or read a book by a lesser known black woman writer each month? Nnedi Okorafor is a great young-adult author.

 
A Curator's Perspective

It sometimes can feel negative to critique efforts of activism but tough conversations are necessary to make real change.

Since Jordan's participation in the Making for Change programme, #BlackLivesMatter has gained momentum. But many criticised false shows of support, particularly during the #BlackOutTuesday initiative, including global organisations like L'Oréal

But even for everyday people, personal posts were seen as performative activism or 'slactivism'.

Even personally, I find criticism hard at times but know it's important for self-improvement.

Pause for Thought

Making offers a chance to play with turning information into engaging visuals. A great example of visual representation is Birmingham theatre company, Stan's Cafe's 'Of All The People In All The World'. This show used grains of rice to bring statistics to life with one grain, representing one person. How could you apply this to your own activism? 

want more? - check out the scrapbook

 
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