(Im)Possible Conversations? Activism, Childhood and Everyday Life


  • Sevasti-Melissa Nolas
  • Christos Varvantakis
  • Vinnarasan Aruldoss


The paper offers an analytical exploration and points of connection between the categories of activism, childhood and everyday life. We are concerned with the lived experiences of activism and childhood broadly defined and especially with the ways in which people become aware, access, orient themselves to, and act on issues of common concern; in other words what connects people to activism. The paper engages with childhood in particular because childhood remains resolutely excluded from practices of public life and because engaging with activism from the marginalized position of children’s everyday lives provides an opportunity to think about the everyday, lived experiences of activism. Occupying a space ‘before method’, the paper engages with autobiographical narratives of growing up in the Communist left in the USA and the historical events of occupying Greek schools in the 1990s. These recounted experiences offer an opportunity to disrupt powerful categories currently in circulation for thinking about activism and childhood. Based on the analysis it is argued that future research on the intersections of activism, childhood and everyday life would benefit from exploring the spatial and temporal dimension of activism, to make visible the unfolding biographical projects of activists and movements alike, while also engaging with the emotional configurations of activists’ lives and what matters to activists, children and adults alike.