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For millenials, protest must be pragmatic. Yes, many of us rail for or against one cause or another but really, what’s the point of all the yelling and screaming if nothing comes of it? Also, does yelling and screaming ever convert anyone to your cause? Past generations of protestors have answered that question with a resounding No. So how do we protest? We plant a garden.

Robyn Waxman, a graduate student of design at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco,

“became fascinated with the next generation of designers’ role when it came to protest and civil disobedience, a place designers and artists have been focusing their efforts for centuries. Studying millennials, who are generally considered to be a group of participatory, positive, technologically-savvy 18- to 30-year-olds, revealed some interesting insights: This was a generation that had solid respect for the law and was reluctant to publicly criticize the status quo. “[They] are really concerned about defying authority,” says Waxman, who is 39. “They are looking out for their future.” As her thesis, Waxman proposed an intervention that helped redefine protest for the rising creative group–a form of engagement that would help educate and inspire them in how to take action.

“She realized if confrontational behavior was not in their nature, then she would have to introduce a form of more perpetual protest. Waxman sought to have a group of students physically reclaim a strip of public land bordering the school’s street, which CCA shares with homeless residents as well as day laborers. Waxman believed they could intervene agriculturally on the block–which was littered with hypodermic needles–by growing enough food for the neighbors.”


Urban farming is a growing trend and as a form of protest it is one that many millenials, including myself, can get behind. It’s a productive cause and its effects are tangible. There is something subversive about growing ones own food in the heart of a city; the collision of lifestyles highlights the disconnectedness of city living while also bringing one back to a “simpler time” that many of us never experienced. Urban farming is the most basic protest against the everyday complexities of modern life.

“Protest doesn’t have to be something that people hate,’ says Waxman. ‘That’s what makes it so enticing for this generation.”


Looks like the kids are alright, afterall


(via Fast Company)

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