Activism and Inertia: what moves us to move?

  • Tue 18 May 21

    12:30 - 14:00

  • Online

  • Event type

    Lectures, talks and seminars

  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Zibiah Alfred Loakthar

Join us at CTAR for this fascinating online discussion


Being moved by social injustices we witness can sometimes lead to unhelpful knee-jerk responses. Yet, nothing happens until something moves (Einstein) 

What does it take to be a reflective activist? 

News aspires to be new!  To win our attention, the media seeks to share new news stories.  New news stories of fellow human beings in crises around the world flashing up on our screens today become old news tomorrow.  What keeps us attending to these stories of crises once media news moves on?   What makes us look away?  What prompts us to take reflective action rather than simply gaze on aghast, or with voyeuristic fascination, or with a sense of helplessness?  What moves us to move? 

Recent media coverage of the rapid spread of covid 19 in India, the images of overwhelmed hospitals, the images of overwhelmed families being unable to access hospitals, the overwhelming images of the struggle to cremate and bury the dead, the human stories about people’s battle to breathe and the rising costs of oxygen, have shaken people across the world.  Are we shaken to act?  How can we act?  How can we act in ways that may be more helpful, less harmful?  Why do we act? Where we acknowledge the limitations of our ability to take actions, do we take any action at all? 

These are questions that we consider within the field of Refugee Care and within our Centre for Trauma Asylum and Refugees (CTAR).   

We extend a warm welcome to people from both within and beyond the university.  We can learn much from each other! Please come and share experiences of humanitarian work, or be propelled by your curiosity to explore ideas with others! 
To participate and receive the zoom link please email z.loakthar@essex.ac.uk.
There is no joining fee for this event.  There is a wise Indian proverb, ‘It is a greater gift to give than to receive”. If you are able to do so, please consider making an anonymous voluntary donation to one of the humanitarian organisations supporting the distribution of oxygen cylinders in India, or to a social justice cause of your choice.