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Shooting Activists! An embodied philosophy of activism in documentary praxis: An essay on the documentary, Noble Bohemia

Stange, Luke Li (2001) Shooting Activists! An embodied philosophy of activism in documentary praxis: An essay on the documentary, Noble Bohemia. Masters by Coursework thesis, Murdoch University.

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This paper offers a discussion of the role activism plays in shaping our relationship to the world. Activism is considered here as a way of being, acting and engaging with the world that assumes a degree of agency in effecting social change.

Activism is often defined in negative terms as a position born out of an opposition to the world. And indeed activism implies a stand against apathy, resignation, cynicism and blatant pessimism. Yet the whole point of this project is to take a positive look at what is. We need to get beyond placards and megaphones if we are going to look at activism seriously. One difficulty with defining 'activist practices' is that they are so diverse and cut across so many other everyday actions. Here I am more concerned with understanding what activists are about. This task demands that we appreciate what motivates these practices, how activism enriches our lives, and how we understand our purpose in life.

Activist practices are implicitly structured by an 'embodied philosophy'. It is the expression through vigorous practices of a deep visceral care for others and the world that supports them. It will be considered here as first and foremost a mode of being, an integrity of character rather than mere instances of deed. Nor is activism governed or enforced under duties, obligations or laws. As a mode of being, activism contains a practical logic that stems from our embodied and relational experience of the world.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters by Coursework)
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy
Supervisor(s): Davison, Aidan and Mhando, Martin
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