Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

22 Mar 2021, 12:09 p.m.

Missing DIY-ish-ness

Alexandra Rowland wrote that "The opposite of grimdark is hopepunk. Pass it on." (further thoughts). And when I think about punk, I think about DIY and imagining and making the structures that need to exist outside of government and outside of well-funded institutions, and I think about people directly helping each other overcome the problems of our lives.

I think of the New Orleans DSA's brake light clinic, and Kaitlin Marone's essay about how it works and why. I think of Freedom Schools and the Black Panther Party's free breakfast for kids and community medical clinics, and mutual aid.

Beautiful Trouble talks about the temporary version of this as "shame the authorities by doing their job" and notes:

Be clear about whether you want to make a temporary fix, or fix the problem for real. Sometimes what you actually want is to have the community solve its own problems in a way the state never could.

Right now I do not spend most of my work-and-volunteering time doing this kind of thing, either the more temporary or the more long-term version. I have a backlog of stuff I want to clear first, but if I can rearrange the pie chart of my attention so more of it is DIY/punk/grassroots stuff, I believe I will be happier. So this is a note to myself about that.