Due to the necessary social distancing measures and our desire to support the effort to stop the spread of the new coronavirus COVID-19, we will be holding our next sessions online.
We will discuss “What’s Fat Activism?” (pdf) by Charlotte Cooper, as part of our 2020 series on “Praxis: activism, social movements and revolution”.
We will explore what we can learn from the history of fat activism, as well as touching on how we can unpick the ways we’ve been shaped by harmful, moralising discourses around food and weight that surround us.
To accompany the text, we encourage readers to read this short Instagram post by Sofie Hagen, a response to the question ‘but what about health?‘, and watch this short video featuring author Charlotte Cooper on ‘A Walk Around Fat Activist London’ as part of promotion for her book Fat Activism: A Radical Social Movement (HammerOn press, paperback £16, ebook £10), a rare insider’s view of fat people speaking about their lives and politics on their own terms. As ever, we have selected a shorter text to focus our discussion but recommend readers read the full book if they are able.
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Charlotte Cooper is a psychotherapist, cultural worker and para-academic living and working in London. She is a founding proponent of Fat Studies. By lifting the lid on a previously unexplored social movement and offering a fresh perspective on one of the major problems of our times, Cooper’s expansive grassroots study:
Reveals details of fat activist methods and approaches and explodes myths
Charts extensive accounts of international fat activist historical roots going back over four decades
Explores controversies and tensions in the movement
Shows that fat activism is an undeniably feminist and queer phenomenon
Explains why fat activism presents exciting possibilities for anyone interested in social justice.