About Activist Explorer

By Sophie Barnet (with J Barnet)

Join me in exploring the activist experience

In 2023 Activist Explorer goes on some actual exploratory journeys.

  • Rainwood House movement mystery novels. The current journey follows my preparing and publishing the new revised edition of Rainwood House Sings, Book 1 of my Movement Mystery trilogy. The posts focus on the journey, with excerpts and art along the way. EDL (Estimated Launch Day): Labor Day, September 4, 2023

  • Activist Emotional Landscape. A meandering journey focused on the emotional delights, dilemmas, dangers, and struggles of being an activist. We’ll make stops at the Inspiration Inlet and the Gripe Grotto.

  • Fiction Featuring Activists. A new stage in my journey connecting with activists and writers around fiction centering activism, activists and social movements. Reflections on full and fair representation of activists in fiction. Critiques of dismissive, stereotyped depictions of activists. Calls for more fiction portraying the full range of activist reality.

Activist Explorer which delves into details of activist reality: our emotional landscape; our language and culture; our battles in the belly of the beast; the spaces we carve out to experiment with creating the new world now, and more.

We also explore how activists and social change movements are depicted in fiction (novels, movies, TV shows, any kind of imaginative story)—an under-noticed area I believe is worth much more attention.

Granny Gus
Activists worry about how oppressed people are represented; but who’s worrying about how activists are represented?

Well… I am.

Why read Activist Explorer?

Activists are the first responders to injustice of all kinds. We are a worldwide, wildly diverse grab-bag of boat-rockers, neck-sticker-outers, city-hall-fighters, tree-huggers, community-builders, movement-makers, organizers, agitators, rabble-rousers, word-weavers, consciousness-raisers and creative gadflies struggling to create a just and compassionate world.

As a complex group engaged in a very challenging undertaking, I feel that a bit more attention and TLC should be turned on ourselves, to better understand…

  • who and what we are

  • what we face, particularly what connects us and what divides us

  • what we’re doing to sustain ourselves

  • what more is needed for us to keeping push through to our overall goal, the one shared with the vast majority of the world’s population:

    fair, fulfilling lives and communities for all, on a healthy, peaceful planet.

Activist Explorer is about exploring these questions—observing and reflecting on my own experience and that of activists in my local and global communities, putting out ideas for discussion.

I invite activists—and those who love, are intrigued by, and/or want to become activists—to join me in weekly explorations of activist culture, everyday life, emotional landscape, and much more.

About Me

Exploring the wilds of Delaware, USA, 10/21 (Brian Higgins)

For many years I’ve been part of environmental, union, youth, community, anti-imperialist, and other kinds of activism, here in the USA, and also in Mexico and elsewhere. Being also an (anticolonial) anthropologist, I pay attention to how people around me—particularly activists—interact, organize, use language, think and feel.

For relaxation and balance, I read fiction. But I get impatient that so many stories (novels, movies, TV shows, narrative games) leave out activism, even when they bring up social problems where in real life activists would step in. And then, even when activists appear, they are often portrayed in stereotyped, dismissive, and downright negative ways. Not as the mostly wonderful, sometimes maddening, fully rounded humans they (we) are.

So I’ve gone on the hunt for fiction featuring activists. It may be marginalized, but it’s there! Watch for posts highlighting works of fiction where folks engaged in social change work are presented as fully rounded, complex characters, and for critiques of works—including ones we love—which stumble into all-too-pervasive stereotypes.

I hope these explorations contribute to…

… better understanding the experience, culture and nature of activism.

… creating a better climate for activists.

… encouraging more and more folks to take up the key aspect of our humanity that is standing up for equal justice and opposing oppression.

Accompanying us will be my intrepid comrade guides, Granny Gus, Detective Drunella, Sour Puss, and my alter ego JB.

By Sophie Barnet (with J Barnet)

And lurking in the background …

Well, actually in the background, foreground and all around, is our adversary, the beast of injustice, war, exploitation, and oppression—the beast in whose belly we all live.

By Sophie Barnet (with J Barnet)

Hey people, just give up!!

By Rini Templeton (with J Barnet)


Subscribe to follow Activist Explorer on how activists deal with life and struggle in the belly of the Beast we’re fighting to transform.

Subscribe to Activist Explorer Newsletter, by Juliana Barnet

Exploring activist culture in essays, fiction, and reality


Reflecting on life as an activist in the belly of the Beast and in the liberated zones we carve out to begin living the new world now.