Thursday, 22 October 2015

3. To Not Act

I recently overheard a conversation between some activists who were complaining about how academics are never in action, always far away from where the works is really happening. It is something I have found myself saying in the past, that I wish academics could stop being cowards; that they should come down and campaign, or put their bodies in the place of ideas in order to understand those ideas better, more broadly, in their most complex versions. And yet, I suppose, in that conversation I overheard, there was a kind of black-white argument, and that argument believes that action is always better than contemplation, and that to be in action always means being in occupation, putting the body in a place as a form of protest; and that to be in contemplation always means being far away from the action, not having the body acting as a form of protest. And what I realised in this moment was that I am uninterested in a form of action that does not include the distance of contemplation. And I am uninterested in a form of contemplation that does not include the immediacy of being-in-place.

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