Social change in Shoprite, aisle 5

Millions of Americans use supplemental food benefits each month. Along with the stigma of holding up the supermarket checkout line comes a large helping of empathy with other people.

Activists talk mental health

A feminist, a squatter, an environmentalist and a human rights activist speak: how does taking action affect mental health? This is the fifth article in Transformation's politics of mental health series.

Feminism helped me survive a forced marriage

I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of fleeing a forced marriage a decade ago. Writing and feminist activism helped me find a space for survival. This is the second article in Transformation's series on the politics of mental health.

Mental health: why we're all sick under neoliberalism

We don't understand mental health, allocating the label only to those who are struggling. So good mental health, and its political causes, become invisible. An introduction to Transformation's new series on the politics of mental health. Content warning: anxiety, suicidal thoughts.

Philanthropic power erosion: the Edge Fund alternative

When power and privilege are acknowledged and addressed, decisions over funding can unite people instead of dividing them. This is the ninth article in our series on the role of money in the transformation of society.

The Labour Party's real challenge is finding a radical voice

Will the UK Labour Party ever really, vocally resist Conservative policies? They should be engaging young voters on global social inequality.

Uganda's 'Kill the Gays' bill: Pastor Martin Ssempa and the anti-gay lobby

You can now be imprisoned for life under Uganda's anti-homosexual law. It was pushed through by religious pastors, whose moralising arm-twisting has silenced moderate voices. If you disagree with them, you may face blackmail.

Demand homes not jails: queer homelessness is being criminalized

Cities globally are starting to criminalize homelessness: banning begging and making free food provision illegal. I work within LGBTQ communities, whose multiple oppressions lead to a high level of homelessness. When I see police disrupting rough sleepers, I remember their life stories.

Nothing about us, without us: reversing the power dynamics of philanthropy

If money is power, then control over money has to be democratized. What if grants to social movements of sex workers were distributed by sex workers themselves? This is the eighth article in our series on money and social transformation.

Unlocking the transformative potential of storytelling

When people connect to political issues through personal stories, they see them in a different way. They don’t just see democracy in the abstract, they see ‘my democracy.’ The transformative potential of storytelling is written into the fabric of our lives.

Not just about the money: corporatization is weakening activism and empowering big business

Activist and advocacy organizations increasingly look and act like multinational corporations. Is it worth the price? This is the seventh installment in our series on money and social transformation.

Benefits Street: how austerity transformed makeover TV

Benefits Street was born from coalition government rhetoric: no one should receive 'anything for nothing'. The failure to transform is always personal. Nobody should be helped.

A year of living generously

Genuine happiness involves sharing time and money, but beware of thinking that the poor belong to some other tribe. Do not judge, presume or patronize. There are no unimportant acts of kindness.

On a good day she would kiss me back: transforming trauma into creative energy and action

Instead of giving in, the deepest thing we can do with trauma is to transmute pain into actions that heal ourselves and help other people. A powerful meditation on love, loss, recovery and resistance.

How I stopped watching porn for one year and why I'm not going back

I remember when I first discovered internet porn – I was 17 years old. Fascinated by this world of unleashed sexual expression and fantasy, I couldn’t get enough of it. I thought I'd outgrow my porn habit over time. But I never did.

Enough talk about intersectionality. Let's get on with it

Feminists today are occupied by seemingly endless Twitter debates. But this is a politics of representation: our attention needs to move towards a politics of change. What are we not doing while so many of our movement's resources are being used like this?

Augustine Carter, 85, struggles to protect her voting rights in Virginia

“Anytime you take the right away from me to vote”, says 85-year old Augustine Carter in Richmond, Virginia, “that takes away my freedom. And if I don’t have no freedom, then that makes me a slave” (video, 6 minutes).

The transforming power of metaphor

Metaphors are the basic building blocks of how we think and communicate with one another. Let’s use more that speak to the highest elements of human nature, not just war and competition.

Why we need radical love to create change

Living on an isolated island with my dog, it was a departure to find myself with 4,000 other LGBTQ people at the Creating Change conference. From Laverne Cox's opening speech to my yoga workshop, I learned that love is central to queer liberation.

Making everything our business: the social legacy of Rudolf Steiner

Is it possible for everyone to participate in everything, transforming themselves and society in the process? Rudolf Steiner said ‘yes,’ and his ideas are just as relevant today.

Five movies that show the power of nonviolent resistance during World War II

Hardly a year goes by without at least one new Hollywood film about the Nazis and World War II. But these offerings rarely feature the many Germans who resisted Hitler using nonviolence.

We need to talk about the UK media war on women

While Dylan Farrow's child abuse allegations against Woody Allen hold the headlines, it is time for journalists to realise that sexual violence is not about evil individuals, Asian grooming gangs, or 1970s BBC culture.

#Iceland3: people who take food from bins should be applauded, not arrested

The British court case against three men who "skipped" food from Iceland supermarket has been dropped. But food waste, food banks, and corporate capitalism are the real political scandal.

Silence = death: Sarah Schulman on ACT UP, the forgotten resistance to the AIDS crisis

When the AIDS activist movement ACT UP was formed in New York in 1987, 50 per cent of Americans wanted people with AIDS quarantined, while 15 per cent favoured tattoos. An interview with Sarah Schulman on her film United In Anger: A History of ACT UP. 

East end boys and west end boys: does gentrification lead to homophobia?

Three men recently attacked my date and I in London's gay village Soho. They threw coins and shouted "faggot". I think gentrification partly prompted their resentment. 

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