On the 4th April, a workshop on Rethinking activism was held in the Spanish room by amazing MSYP lecturer Sarah Freeman Woolpert. Sarah is from New Hampshire, USA and is now doing a Master’s in Human Rights and Democracy in Sarajevo. She also leads activism workshops with youth around B&H and taught a class on activism and social change with MSYP last summer.
Nowadays, many problems are caused by our passivity and non-involvement with the things that directly or indirectly affect us. As a consequence, we have leaders of societies and countries who are not able to satisfy our rights and needs. In order to reduce current problems and make deals out of them, activism takes its place. Activism is a doctrine that emphasizes promotion of social, political, economic or environmental reform and is often done through social movements.
Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This quote represents the mindset of the participants during the workshop as commitment and thoughtfulness were present during and after the one and half hour workshop. How to start a project or activity, how to “target” your possible collaborators and how to develop your idea into an actual thing were just a few questions that were discussed by Sarah and the participants.
Sharing our interests, experiences and ideas about current problems in our countries and world brought this workshop to another level which is not only talking about things that bother us but rather giving our opinions on how to start something about it and hopefully make it successful. Looking carefully and analyzing what is going on right now is the first phase of activism. Afterwards, a good fundamental idea can bring us to people who are passive or neutral or strongly against us, but promoting not only bad things around us, but possible changes will attract the mentioned groups and all you have to do is be committed and keep on going.
Our society needs some changes and that change can be your willingness to do something, developed by time and enthusiasm. Activism is beautiful thing especially because it requires engagement and thinking, which we cannot get enough of! Think before you speak and read before you think.