contest and context
A conversation with J:
Me: I’ve taken the lead on a campaign to negotiate with the Council to keep our local Park House open and in community use.
J: That’s so good, to be involved in some form of activism.
Me: Activism today is different to the past. There was a time that the activist took an approach that prioritised some form of demand, of insisting on rights. This didn’t suit me, I find conflict difficult to work with. In the current atmosphere where the 3rd sector is to a large extend being formulated as an agent of the state the implication is that there is a position of negotiation to be found. The context within which the problem is found sets the agenda so to speak. The catch comes when there is no agreement on context – if the context becomes understood as a global capitalist market then the negotiation takes on a different colour to when the context is how do we deal with stringent central government cuts to local government budgets. I find the position of seeing myself as a mediator easier than being a contestant.