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Make love, not war?: Radical environmental activism’s reconfigurative potential and pitfalls


Milstein, T and McGaurr, L and Lester, L, Make love, not war?: Radical environmental activism's reconfigurative potential and pitfalls, Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space, 4, (2) pp. 296-316. ISSN 2514-8486 (2021) [Refereed Article]

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Copyright The Author(s) 2020. This is the submitted version and reuse is restricted to non-commercial and no derivative uses.

DOI: doi:10.1177/2514848620901443


New radical environmental action movements are attracting large numbers of diverse actors who inevitably will take inspiration and learn from mistakes of those radical environmental organizations that precede them and continue today into middle age. The representational strategies of these established organizations are of specific interest as they enter a maturity phase that coincides with the planet experiencing an unprecedented anthropogenic moment of reckoning – a time when more broadly engaging and transformative activism is paramount to reconfiguring ecological, societal, and spatial orientations. We focus on Sea Shepherd, a global ocean protection organization founded in the same decade as many other formatively radical organizations, to examine its historic and current representations of its direct action stance; its multiple and at times conflicting positioning of cetaceans; its emphasis on celebrity and timely campaigns; and its longstanding military, war, and piracy framing – much of which has garnered attention based on appealing to news values of conventional media outlets. We illustrate ways direct action may be framed as in opposition to current extractive practices (against framing) or as a collaborative means to thriving futures (with framing) and consider ways activism frames might eschew violent clashes and celebrity long valued by conventional media outlets and speak more to today’s broader internet-savvy populations and to the reconfigurative potential of guardianship, interconnectedness, and nurturance.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:protest, environmental movement, activism, media, visual communications
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Environmental communication
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:Communication not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:McGaurr, L (Dr Lynette McGaurr)
UTAS Author:Lester, L (Professor Libby Lester)
ID Code:140468
Year Published:2021 (online first 2020)
Funding Support:Australian Research Council (DP150103454)
Web of Science® Times Cited:1
Deposited By:Media
Deposited On:2020-08-20
Last Modified:2022-02-24
Downloads:23 View Download Statistics

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