Party as Protest, Part I (How To Respond To A World On Fire)

Hannah Spadafora
13 min readJun 26, 2021

How To Respond To A World On Fire: Party as Protest, Part 1:

It can be overwhelming and taxing for any activist or concerned citizen of planet earth to know that the world is on fire — from the Amazon to the Trump* White House, to the unraveling of previously hidden corruption, exploitation, and abuse. We live under the eye of disciplinarian justice systems, invasive and micromanaging business practices, and a dishonest political regime that throws the safety and rights of marginalized communities under the bus. This is on top of social judgment that makes living one’s existence dangerous for many and economic policies that reinforce stratified inequality. Underneath all these events is the reality of billionaires hoarding money pathologically, in excess of spendable possibilities, likely in a fantasy of throwing everyone else over to escape the planet they’ve trashed.* Further, there seems to be a nail-biting standoff between, on the one hand, white power bigotry, international sex trafficking rings run by high profile pedophiles, extreme religious, political, and social zealots, and climate change and science deniers — against, on the other hand, reasonable humanists, antifascists, concerned activists, and experts across disciplines leading the charge for accountability against harm of the vulnerable. In these dire days, it may seem that the work we have to do never ends — both the work we are saddled with due to economically unjust systems and the work we must take on to challenge power structures that harm people by promoting greed and cruelty.

Work is not the only way to challenge unequal and unjust oppressive structures, though. There is also, and I’m serious about this, the duty you have to party. This is not a frivolous statement nor a puff piece, but a sincere suggestion in the latest installment of The Activist’s Platform’s “How To Respond to a World on Fire” article series. The answer here is to erect the spirit of carnival. In honor of Pride weekend in Atlanta and Halloween in the United States, readers here are under direct order to party — with a purpose.

Photo by Alexander Popov on Unsplash
Hannah Spadafora

Hannah Spadafora is a writer living in the Atlanta area with multiple cats and underused degrees in anthropology, philosophy, and religious studies.