Another Politics, Sea Legs, and Instant Fortune Cookie Death

The Amateur Everything | Knapsack Weekly Round Up

Matters of the mind

This week I am reading Another Politics: Talking Across Today’s Transformative Movements by Chris Dixon. The way my professor explained it, the author Chris Dixon traveled across the North America interviewing activists in various movements about their practices and philosophy within leftist, radical politics. The book, published in 2014, constructs the basis for “another politics” by compiling the common threads and best practices derived from these interviews.

What I have enjoyed about this book are the ways the interviews from those on the ground lend credence and practical application, as well as opportunities for critique, of ideas that are usually presented as wholly aspirational and often abstract. For example, while talking about the value of “being nice” and providing “healing spaces” there is also a frank discussion of the limitations of internal healing — that internal work only challenges systems of oppression as much as the internal is a site for oppression, but is not the only location of resistance. Internal healing arguably does little to actually change society. What I found is that through the combination of various voices constructing this idea of “another politics” we get a rich look at both large ideas and the nuances that emerge when they are put into practice.

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Your greatest fear: Live and in-person!

Your greatest fear | The Amateur Everything | Instagram @sonjishima

In my favorite Harry Potter book, The Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry and his friends learn to confront a boggart. A boggart takes the shape of its adversary’s worst fear and is banished through a spell and laughter. Under Professor Lupin’s capable tutelage they emerge victorious. The boggart cycles through each student’s immediate, internal fear before they render it riddikulus.

I can only imagine that my professor took a page out of the Harry Potter series when constructing his lesson plan. On the first day of class for Clinical Practice with Groups our professor passed out notecards and told us to answer the question: “When it comes to working with clients in a group setting, what is one situation that terrifies you?”

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