Monday, March 28, 2011

50 Campaigns to Shout About - Ellie Levenson

50 Campaigns to Shout About
by Ellie Levenson
One World Publications, 2011
Review by Ramona Wadi

An essential book for anyone involved in activism, and for those who may be reluctant to delve further into this realm, 50 Campaigns to Shout About is practical and covers a vast array of subjects - serving as an incentive for readers and activists to promulgate the voices of those minorities that are so often identified as 'the other'.

The introduction quickly slams the notion of helplessness as we are reminded that there are many ways in which we can contribute to raising awareness and campaigning. There are many instances where the enormity of a social or global issue as portrayed by the media seems overwhelming and inaccessible. We fail to realise that fragments of the problems we read about are a reality in our society. Racism, child labour, human trafficking, blood diamonds, torture, indigenous people, animal rights, environmental issues, mental health ... Many people contribute unwittingly to the oppression of the freedom that is inherent in everyone. Lack of education, prejudice, lack of interest in how certain goods reach our markets. Many times, the lack of direct contact with an issue suppresses the reality for others who might not discern, or else observe and ignore a problem, because it is not an immediate concern.

Flimsy excuses are targeted with the expectation of elimination in this book. The concept of activism is simplified and illustrated further with interviews, information on technical details and an array of references at the end of each topic.There is no reason why one should not become an activist, even the most reluctant. A simple reflection by every individual in society is sure to bring up an issue which strikes a chord deep enough to awaken the necessity to intervene. As it is, activists will no longer be necessary when the world reaches a tangible perfection, which is to say, never. Therefore, the book is significant enough to challenge social consciousness into embracing activism as an elevated form of necessity - that of rising above oppression to challenge mainstream philosophy and its repercussions on the multitude of minorities around the world.

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