Writing and thinking about Slactivism; at the end of the semester---
I have decided, in posting this post that I missed, not to try and reorient myself back to that week, but to post a retrospective. After writing my paper, I have become very interested in the idea of embedding the past and the future into the contemporary narrative. Let's say trauma as past, desire as future. Berlant, Ahmed, hat's off to you.
So this idea of embedding -- perhaps, conflation, or a reappropriated reconstruction. This, as contrasted by an idea of juxtaposition.
The past event, the Slactivism lab, was (to be frank) slightly traumatic as it occurred in tandem with the opening of my Grandmother's hit Broadway musical. I had to miss this opening.
I will, however, (to look toward the future) be seeing the show in New York on Wednesday. Now to analyze this in the context of desire: why do I want to see this show so badly? Perhaps some idea of feeling "cosmopolitan" ; the agency I have in travelling to New York City for a brief period of time, as an individual, apparently freely acting according to my wishes. And this has to be combined in some manner with the idea that I should make my Grandmother happy and also proud. I call this grandmother Mumu. Visiting Mumu is always a performance of sorts, more so than another engagement as she often performs me. I am her granddaughter, young and fresh, a senior at Brown University. I offer some notion of potential which I like to play. I want to play. I hope that I will successfully play, successfully enact in an effort to promote its fruition. I want to have had potential and to represent the manifestation of such -- some notion of a future success.
SO: the current narrative; this blog post. Slactivism. Is Slacktivism ever a manifestation of success? What is success, how will I one day feel morally sound, with a heart that is happy and full. There was an article I remember a few years ago about the obsession with "happiness" in American culture. Perhaps the American Dream has now been translated to some desire to be happy. A state of being as the number one desire, one degree further from manifestations of fantasies of what might make one happy. Is this progress, this distillation of meconaissance into emotion?
The lab itself was a success -- we caused patrons and employees of Brown's Rockafeller Library to question our actions in the context of revolt. Is this success? We had no intentions of actual revolt. However, to spark thought and dialogue seems like it must be a success.
Here I find the success and failure of Kony all tied together.
Kony sparked dialogue. Kony also incited action -- but perhaps not either a sustainable or even a useful form of action. And yet, here I am writing about Slactivism and happiness and what I want for my future and I think to reference Kony. So, it provides an outlet, or better yet-- a base, from which to talk about activism on the internet.
Its an interesting time, again, to talk about success and failure in terms of the internet now that Egypt has AGAIN witnessed revolt. And there was a shooting in Connecticut which made President Obama cry on national news. There was this question about engagement in political thought in tandem with these shootings-- too early? too late? What is respectful in terms of channelling a tragedy so quickly into motivation for political discourse...? My thoughts run wild all over the place when thinking about such issues.
And maybe that's okay... thoughts all over the place, all inhabiting this present space of what is now. A spatio-temporal space that is infinitely deep, infinitely related, impossible to navigate but always necessarily reorienting itself inwardly to channel the myriad possibilities that may or may not manifest in full.