Activist Imagination, Research

Attn: Miserable Idealists

In a look at inward optimism and social pessimism, Matthew Taylor calls for a new collectivism among progressives (“Why Life is Good,” New Statesman, January 3, 2008).

Taylor writes, “miserable idealists need to make a New Year resolution to look on the bright side. Pessimism is becoming an impediment to progressive politics.” He continues:

Progressives want the world to be a better place. We bemoan its current inequities and oppression — yet if we fail to celebrate the progress that human beings have made, and if we sound as though the future is a fearful place, we belie our own philosophy. Instead, we need to address a deficit in social optimism that threatens the credibility of our core narrative.

Similarly, my works for the upcoming Activist Imagination exhibition are inspired by how we see ourselves reflected in the world.

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