Yassmin Abdel-Magied – Talking About a Revolution
Yassmin Abdel-Magied started out a dynamic, optimistic, naïve, youthful grass-roots organiser and oil rig worker before she found herself taking on the heft of the Australian political and media establishment, unintentionally.
From her new home in Europe she brings her characteristic warmth, clarity and inquisitive nature to the concepts of ‘the private and public self’ and ‘systems and society’ that structure this collection.
In ‘The Private and Public Self’, Yassmin shares her passions for cars and cryptocurrency as well as the personal challenges around her activism and leaving Australia. She provides a hearty defence of hobbies and expands on the value and process of carving out a private life and self in an incredibly public-facing world. The concept of identity when one is a ‘forever migrant’ – by ancestry, and by choice – is interrogated, as is what it means to organise for social justice when you aren’t sure where you belong.
In ‘Systems and Society’, through essays on cultural appropriation, the meaning of citizenship, and unconscious bias, Yassmin charts how her thinking on activism, transformative change and justice has evolved. She brings an abolitionist lens to social justice work and, recalling her days as a young revolutionary, encourages younger generations of activists to decide if it is empowerment they are working towards, or power.
In all these essays, written with the passion, lived-experience and intelligence of someone who wants to improve our world, the concept of revolution, however big or small, is ever-present.