The "professional activist" phenomenon

I read this article in Arabic today that talks about the state of  “Activists” these days and what they have turned into.

I found the words very descriptive of the state of affairs these days with regards to LGBTQ activism in the region.

From an activist into an employee: the professional activist phenomenon

Some translated quotes here:

For these reasons, activists rarely take a step back to assess their work and to re-think their strategies; they perform  their activity – exercising their social role – all the time. Indicates the author of “Lets give up on activity” that “part of being a revolutionary means knowing when to stop and wait. It is important to know how and when to strike to achieve maximum effectiveness It is also important to know how and when to strike. Activists have a mentality of “we have to do something now!” That seem to feed in out of guilt. This is never a tactical mentality. ”

In its current form, the activity is a professional activist tool to express their social identity, and not a tool to win conflicts and issues. As with any other specialized profession, activists are working to improve their personal image and build a professional record of political activity. Dealing with activity like a profession has a social and physical benefits rather than deal with him that the fight for the victory of conflict. Many activists are living off the activity through the transition into employees in well-funded non-governmental organizations.

I’ve been saying that to be a true activist you shouldn’t be living off being one as I can’t see being an activist as a profession  but I see it as  a state of self expression.

Some would argue that if you are passionate about something then you should make a living out of it. I say the issues are many in any society and one would feel passionate about many. So if you work for a non-governmental institution as a programme manager for example then that’s your job/ profession. Your activism should not be your profession but an expression of your interest in a specific activity or cause.

What’s your view?

Razan Khatib

Razan Khatib

Playing at the intersection of culture, technology, and values. Trying to structure my thoughts and share experiences, learnings, and insights. Co-founder of @spring_apps
Amman, Jordan