Activism and Alternatives

The ability to imagine and bring into being social, cultural and political alternatives to the present is one of the most powerful driving forces for change in the world. Research expertise in the cluster in relation to this theme focuses on how people – either as individuals or as wider collectives/movements – attempt to envision alternative futures and alter the world around them. This may include small or prefigurative moments or activisms, being present in and challenging spaces of exclusion, working together in smaller groups to envisage and enact alternatives, developing critiques of what is and new knowledges about what could be, and new practices to bring future worlds into being.  Research which contributes to geographical debates on activism and alternatives include:

  • Transnational, anti-, de- and post-colonial movements/critical pedagogies and climate activisms (Davies, North, Gahman)
  • Fat activism and the embodied politics of health (Evans)
  • Low carbon futures for the Anthropocene (North)
  • Alternative economic practices such as alternative currencies, co-operatives, worker-run businesses and more solidaristic and emancipatory conceptions of entrepreneurialism (North)
    • Food sovereignty and agro-ecology in autonomous Indigenous communities, and the politics, principles, and practices of the Zapatistas (Gahman)
  • Resisting border imperialisms and migrant worker exploitations - refugees and the European Union (Isakjee); migrant labour advocacy (Gahman); alternative representations of the 'refugee crisis' (Burrell)
  • The role of music in resistance movements (Whittaker; Peters)
  • Offshore ‘pirate’ broadcasting stations and the free radio movements of the 20th Century (Peters)
  • Contemporary psychogeographies, walking art, (re)enchantment and urban imaginaries (Rose)
  • The methodological challenges and opportunities of researching volatile environments (Whittaker, Turner, Isakjee)