According to Ofcom, more people got their news from the internet in 2019 than from newspapers. It may be sacrilege to print this, but it’s true – the way we engage with our personal, national and global dialogues is changing, shifting away from the control of centralised networks into the hands of the individual. Whilst this shift has admittedly lead to a nasty twist of events I like to call ‘the terrifying rise of global fascism’, it has also created an unprecedented global wave of counter-protest, creative civil disobedience and grass-roots activism. We now have a hyper-awareness of injustice that transcends borders – the internet’s influence has disrupted the narratives upheld by traditional media, exposing both global issues and the resistance movements fighting them. This constant flood of images and information has united us; We are all confronted with the realities of climate change. 99% of us are struggling in comparison to a privileged few. We know this now, and, through our newfound interconnectivity, we have the tools to collaborate.
Think of it this way. Creative individuals and collectives such as @we_are_adg, @freyaft, @globalclimatejustice and @realolifrost create politically motivated art, films and graphics for various activist groups. These are shared across Twitter, across Instagram – maybe your friend reposts their work; maybe you find it on your explore page. You share it, or dm the artist, or send it to your friend – the reach of the original activist group widens, whilst awareness of the issue at hand rises. All it takes from here on in (on your part) is a couple of messages, or a google search, or a facebook request, and suddenly awareness has turned into action. In the space of an hour, a digital graphic has added one more member to a collaborative, internationalist solidarity movement, hell-bent on enacting change. As our global socio-political climates reaches molotov-flinging levels of dissatisfaction, 2019’s Protest Wave shows no sign of stopping – the era of internet-led organisation and creative civil disobedience is only just beginning.