Within the realm of activism, there are many avenues into which current political tensions and social dynamics impact the conversations being held and actions being taken. When brainstorming about current issues related to activism, I have thought of several topics that may expose interesting possibilities of inquiry. The topic of street art is rather interesting, as this form of activism has actually led to the growth of popular figures such as Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, and JR. However, with the growth of their renown, does their art still transgress cultural norms enough to be considered activism? Another topic to consider is how activist efforts have shifted in addressing sex trafficking within the United States. Have activist movements successfully led to legislation? Another topic is “slacktivism”, social media activism. It would be worth researching whether or not this is activism and how certain issues capture the collective imagination more than others. Another topic could be the evolution of activism with regards to the use of technology. For example, the economic crisis in Flint, Michigan was central to a documentary made by Michael Moore. Today, the issue of water contamination in Flint has led to outrage through the dissemination of information over the Internet. How has the ability for people to access information altered the way that they interact with activism?
Finally, I believe that a fascinating topic that is worthy of attention centers around the activism confronting the “greenwashing” of the cosmetic industry. Greenwashing is a term referring to the active dissemination of disinformation about an organization in order to appear environmentally responsible to the public. According to an article published by PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the European Union, Israel, and India all banned the sale of cosmetics that were tested on animals. However, the U.S. still allows for animal testing. Therefore, I want to research how the role of activism has shifted public perception so that corporations have responded with increased branding involving a natural emphasis without changing the testing process. It is especially interesting to note how consumers are being manipulated into using what they believe to be their purchasing power to support products labeled as environmentally conscious without educating themselves about the production processes of the company.