Hailing from sewing rooms to social media venues, people are ready to go against the tide to have their voices heard.
Sometimes we just have to stand up and let our voices be heard. Inspired by these exposés on genetically modified foods and the ongoing cost of foreign conflicts, we take a look back at past stories about bucking convention and taking a stand. Are you with us?
Our children will inherit a world profoundly changed by the combination of technology and humanity that is social media. They’ll take for granted that their voices can be heard and that a social movement can be launched from their laptop. They’ll take for granted that they are connected and interconnected with hundreds of millions of people at any given moment. And they’ll take for granted that a black man is or was President of the United States.
What’s most profound is that these represent parts of a greater whole. They represent a shift in power from centralized institutions and organizations to the People they represent. It is the evolution of democracy by way of technology, and we are all better for it.
Josie Jeffery is the author of Seedbombs: Going Wild with Flowers and widely considered the go-to authority on seed bombing in Brighton & Hove. She says seed bombs originated in ancient Japan and were revived halfway through the 20th century by philosopher and microbiologist Masanobu Fukuoka as a way of introducing revitalizing plants to tired soil that had been exhausted through over use. The little muddy grenades were then adopted by the New York Green Guerrillas who used them to begin transforming run down areas with bright flowers and greenery.
I suppose you can’t blame the corporations for trying to muscle in on the action. They wouldn’t be very successful companies if they didn’t. But a look at some of the latest marketing campaigns leaves me scratching my head. Corporate efforts at co-opting this movement are often clumsy at best. I wonder if they’re as off-putting to others as they are to me.
The Ditty Bops are on a mission to prove that the music industry doesn’t have to ride roughshod over the environment, and since they believe none of the major labels fit that bill they’re doing it independently. Setting up an award-winning sustainable nonprofit, cycling across America to promote their work, producing album sleeves from personally sourced eco-friendly materials – they’re grounded, principled and apparently unstoppable…
The reality is that we haven’t been paying the real price of goods for decades. Whether it’s our own government that has been manipulating the price of our products through trade agreements and tariffs, or the Chinese government subsidizing their labor costs to dominate the world’s production market, it’s all coming back to us. We’re starting to pay for it: prices are going up, jobs have been lost, the environment is at risk, and fashion is once again on the center stage of politics simply by what we choose or don’t choose to wear and how we acquire goods.
Post recession, one has only to look at the number of DIY sites that have become popular and the micro trend of sewing and knitting groups to know that a cultural shift is happening. Within the confines of craft, there now lies an inherent rebelliousness that you usually only see in punk, indie music or street culture. Women working with their hands to teach others (or even alone in their own homes) are leading a movement against being branded, and taking how they dress themselves as a form of protest.
I put two more coats of stark-white paint on the door to brighten things up. As I looked around the complex afterwards, I realized that most other doors seem to be painted off-white. I smiled to myself, and gave thanks to the universe for small victories and minor insurrections.