About Activist Explorer

By Sophie Barnet (with J Barnet)

Join me in exploring the activist experience in reality and in fiction.

Activist Explorer 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! Each Friday’s newsletter highlights a work of Fiction Featuring Activists.

Including my own. Subscribe to follow my explorations into the process of writing and publishing the Rainwood House social justice mystery saga.

I hope these explorations contribute to…

… better understanding the experience and the 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 the activist experience in essays and in fiction


Juliana Barnet
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.