Great news! — Center for Artistic Activism Co-founder Stephen Duncombe‘s new book “The Activist Angler” is out. Check OR/Books website to learn more and get a copy!
So what is the book about?
Elegantly written and charmingly illustrated, The Activist Angler shows how lessons learned from angling can guide political activism and vice versa. Patience, preparation and precision are needed to catch fish . . . and to build a movement.
Looking for a retreat during the stress of the pandemic, the activist and teacher Steve Duncombe took up fishing, a sport he had abandoned in his youth. After many years away from his rod, he had to re-learn how to fish and approached the practice with what Zen masters call “Beginner’s Mind.”
Having no recent experience to fall back on, every fish successfully caught or line hopelessly snarled served as a lesson. Hours spent doing little more than casting and retrieving meant plenty of time to think. One of the things Steve thought a lot about was activism. The art of angling, he discovered, has a lot to teach about the art of activism.
The Activist Angler brings together these lessons in an engaging journey from the street to the beach and back. The format is simple: one reflection on fishing followed by another on what might be learned and applied to activism, with each accompanied by an illustration.
Topics range from telling fish stories and the trap of activist nostalgia, to the impossibility of thinking like a fish yet the necessity for an organizer to understand their audience, with detours through reflections on self-care, catch-and-release, and taking responsibility for the human cost of one’s political actions.