On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, Alex Khasnabish and Max Haiven talk about their work in Halifax to understand the role of radical imagination in struggles for social justice, and to use that understanding to support movements in the city.
When most of us hear the word “imagination,” what comes to mind is often a very individual trait or activity that might variously be described as fantastical, ephemeral, frivolous, or disconnected from the concerns of the so-called “real” world. There’s increasing recognition, however, that for all the romantic ink that has been spilled regarding imagination as individual passion, it really makes more sense to recognize that imagination is not only always social — something that is sparked between and among us — but that it also has a great deal to do with social movements. After all, how could we ever act to create change without being able to imagine, in collective ways, a world that is in some sense otherwise than the one we now inhabit?
Khasnabish and Haiven are activists and academics based in Halifax. For the last several years, they have been working together on a project that seeks not only to study such radical manifestations of imagination, but also to leverage the resources they have access to through their privileged location within the academy to support movements in the city. They talk with me about the radical imagination, about the challenges of relating to movements from within university contexts, and about their past, present, and future activities on the east coast doing what they describe as “convoking” such radical imagination in the service of transformative social change.
To learn more about their work as well as about their book, The Radical Imagination: Social Movement Research in the Age of Austerity, click here.
Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit the recently revamped website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.
Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Sudbury, Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.