Limitations to activism in Jamaica and Colonial societies

I have come to understand that the smallness and closeness of our society is a terrible limitation to our activism.

I have learnt that we choose not to speak publicly once we know the person or persons involved in an issue. We will keep silent because we are too close to the persons involved. They are a part of our circles, our they go to the same events as us, we have seen them around and said hello. Sometimes we have been in meetings with them.

I think we depend on the news for a “scandal”. We want them to tell us. We won’t do it. Let someone else find out. Then we will react. With conversations in our living rooms. Discussing the issues as current affairs. Like a story, with a plot and characters. In a reality that we are not a part of.

Activism is how we defend rights. How we organize to address an emerging issue or to prevent it.

Our ability to do this is limited because of fear of the impact on relationships. Our Relationship on this island is mediated by power and access to resources. Not all voices are equal on this island and you learn this early. This is a code you must follow.

Our activism is compromised because we cannot speak. We cannot fundamentally disagree.

There are not many spaces where people learn to find common ground. So our activism has limited integrity.

 

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About afifa

dj. artist. creative director and co-founder of the SO((U))L HQ and DI Institute for Social Leadership. I make ritual spaces.

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