Activism as fetishism

I pose activism as
fetishism in this essay, and explore the
implications of this for an activist ethics of
solidarity across power imbalances and cultural
differences. In this I focus upon the discourses of
privileged or ‘first world’ activists, which is a
reflection of my own location.5 With an analysis
of the fetish across the key lexicons listed above,
fetishism can be understood as both a blockage
and an opening to ethical alliance. I suggest that,
for first world activist consciousness at least, it is
more fruitful to consider how we fetishise rather
than whether we fetishise. This is spoken through
five years of physical and textual travel through
parts of the global justice movement, loosely
framed - through readings, interviews,
observations and conversations within this
timespace.

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