By: Kay-Dee Mashile
Activator Lesego Scott once said, and I paraphrase, that activism is a matter of conviction. Therefore, it is a journey that one needs to choose for oneself and one that no one should be recruited for. In her words, “We cannot lobby for activism, we can only educate with no hidden agendas. Hoping that the truth will call the student to action.”
With this statement in mind, it is safe to define an activist as someone who has the conviction to seek change regarding a certain phenomenon that they believe to be unjust and/or significant in one or more ways. This then justifies why different activists or activist organisations seek justice for the causes that they deem to be most significant. While this is a very important part of activism, it is important that we remain conscious of the fact that every movement exists within a bigger ecosystem in which each movement plays a significant role. One could view this ecosystem as a body with various interdependent and equally significant parts. While other parts may be more obvious in their significance than others, all the parts need to be present for the body to function optimally. This is how we came to the conclusion that the future of activism is collaboration.
Throughout this campaign, we will take a trip down history lane to learn about the history of collaborative activism while having a look at the current organisations within and outside the ACTIVATE! Network. The aim of this research is to find out what has been done and what resulted from those efforts. Moreover, a panel of experts from various professional streams has been formed to have them advise on a collaborative model for various activist organisations and movements to apply in the future. This model is aimed at helping emerging organisations identify the body parts they have and seek to find that which they do not have. Moreover, this campaign seeks to bring together various legs of society into alignment.
The past few years have seen many youth movements emerge in efforts to seek justice for one cause or the other. Some of these movements, such as #FeesMustFall and #TheTotalShutdown, have inspired others to also stand up and have thus compelled the birth of countless campaigns and organisations. However, to date, many of these organisations run out of resources and sometimes lose their drive and passion when the national attention shifts elsewhere. It is with this in mind that I coined the phrase “The Future of Activism is Collaboration” as, I reckon, many of the challenges faced by individual Activists and organisations can be mitigated by simply partnering with other like-minded individuals and groups and, therefore, increase the impact of all the parties involved.
In the past two years, South Africa has seen a heartbreaking increase in cases of gender-based violence (GBV) which has led to much work in the space. Although a lot is being done and said about GBV in South Africa in this period, one thing that isn’t being spoken about enough is collaboration. While there has been some progress made, the statistics are not showing much success in the current and past models of Activism. This by no means implies that the movements are not successful, however, it does suggest and necessitate a different approach. In attempts to test the impact of collaborative activism, ACTIVATE! and Taugadi Media has reached out to some individuals/organisations and invited them to a collaborative platform as determined by the research done for this campaign. The aim of this is to come up with a practical example of how organisations can work together for common good by initiating a conversation on how various stakeholders can work together to end violence against women.
Join us for the campaign launch on the details below:
Date: 25 Nov 2020
Time: 18:00 to 19:30
Facebook Live @ ACTIVATE! Change Drivers
The future of Activism is Collaboration! Join us at “ACTIVATE! Change Drivers” and “The Kay-Dee Blog” across all social media platforms to follow the campaign.