A Deeper Inquiry #5 – Entangled Activism A Deeper Inquiry

Speaker Bio

Anthea Lawson is a campaigner and author of The Entangled Activist, a book about how activists perpetuate the very problems they are trying to fix, and why. She has worked for human rights and environmental organisations on campaigns to shut down tax havens, prevent banks from facilitating corruption and environmental devastation, and control the arms trade. At Global Witness, where she was a campaigns director, she launched a prize-winning campaign that changed the rules on secret company ownership and resulted in new laws in dozens of countries. She trained and worked as a reporter at The Times.

About the book…

The Entangled Activist: Learning to recognise the master’s tools (Perspectiva Press)
The Entangled Activist is the story of how activism is entangled in the problems it seeks to solve, told by a hard-hitting campaigner who learns to see activism very differently. After years of thinking that her task was to ‘get the bastards,’ campaigner, writer and reporter Anthea Lawson came to see that activism often emerges from the same troubles it is trying to fix, and that its demons, including righteousness, saviourism, burnout and treating other people badly, can be a gateway to understanding the depth of what really needs to change.
Drawing on her own experience, critical analysis and interviews with leading activists, Lawson probes our attempts to change the world to offer a timely, eye- opening vision for transformative work. By considering how unexamined shadows and assumptions impede well- intentioned goals, and how campaigners are caught up in the very systems and ideologies they seek to alter, she dismantles hierarchies that have shaped the field for too long.
The Entangled Activist is a profound call to acknowledge our entanglement with the world. To those sceptical of ‘activism’, it offers possibilities for action beyond righteous reactivity. And to those who so want to help, it unearths a different starting place, one where transforming ourselves is inherently part of transforming the world.



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