For some time now, activism has changed its connotations, both in terms of methods and themes and in terms of the profile of activists. The word “activism”, when we look it up in Nextatlas, which monitors and elaborates about 400 thousand accurately selected profiles, leads to a series of tags that today define the boundaries and contents of movementism.
As can be seen from this list, activism is less and less linked to political ideologies, but increasingly concerns gender, civil rights and the environment. An activism that is very participatory and visible, especially in the US, UK and France, but which is often linked to a feeling of sadness and resignation. Among the most frequent correlations on social issues is the name of the actress Rose McGowan, one of the more prominent #metoo faces. If you look at the profile of those who post content on activism, you can see the vast majority are women, Millennials and Gen Z.
Over the years activism has taken many forms, including creative ones: for example, the name Potter that you see in the list of tags refers to The Harry Potter Alliance, a large group of fans of the fantasy saga who have learned through books values such as friendship, commitment and collaboration and through this association raise money for help in Haiti or against inequalities.
There are many practices of protest, creative activism and radical changes in our consumption habits, especially in the economic field, which aim to rethink our relationship with power, economy and money.
In the United States, President Donald Trump’s political authoritarianism has pushed many brands to engage in activism not only through advertising campaigns like Nike, but also through concrete gestures: Airbnb has offered free housing to refugees, Starbucks has announced that it will hire 10,000 refugees and Lyft has donated $1 million to the American Civil Liberties Union.
New York’s MOMA, which usually remains detached from political issues, has also replaced the works of Picasso, Matisse and Boccioni from its permanent collection on the fifth floor with works by contemporary artists from Iran, Iraq and Sudan, all countries listed in the President’s immigration ban.
Brands are moving from being mission-driven to being activists, thus encouraging consumers to actively defend civil values.
(… to be continued…)