“My approach to activism is to not be too ‘shouty’. Instead, it’s how can I bring someone along with me? I try in my writing to be even more gentle than I feel, because I want people to be willing to listen to me.”
Type 2 is my podcast in association with Patagonia that explores the intersection between the outdoors, action sports and activism.
This week’s guest is surfer, swimmer and academic Rebecca Olive, a Senior Research Fellow at the School of Global, Urban & Social Studies at RMIT University in Melbourne.
I first became aware of Rebecca through her work investigating a couple of areas of particular interest to me, and which I’ve explored in some detail on Type 2 and my main podcast Looking Sideways
First up is Moving Oceans, her research project about the way recreational sport and leisure activities shape our relationships to nature. Rebecca examines this dynamic through the lens of ocean ‘sports’ like swimming, surfing and even sailing. To quote from her Moving Oceans website, the project is about ‘exploring the everyday individual and community relationships we develop through surfing, swimming and other ocean lifestyle sports. Rebecca’s work is about showing how and why ocean lifestyle sports help us experience such close connections with saltwater plants, animals, geographies and climates’.
It wouldn’t be possible to produce Looking Sideways without support from readers and listeners. Subscribe below to support the show
Then there’s the other strand to Rebecca’s research, which explores the way women are represented in action sports media, and the impact this can have on how women interact with and are perceived by these communities and cultures.
As I say, both topics are of real interest to me, and it was through chatting about this stuff on Instagram that Rebecca and I first met. When I heard that she’d be heading to London for a few weeks this summer, I headed up to London so we could sit down and chat through her work and ideas for an episode of Type 2.
This is activism as investigation, about how the exchange of often niche and sometimes challenging ideas has the power to change the way we perceive the everyday activities that embellish our lives. This was a nourishing and at times extremely thought-provoking chat, which I enjoyed very much. Hope you do too!
New episodes of Type 2 are released every four weeks or so through my Looking Sideways channel. Hear it by subscribing to Looking Sideways on Substack, or through ApplePodcasts, Spotify or any of the usual other podcast providers. Thanks to Ewan Wallace for the theme tune, and to my editor Fina Charleson.
Enjoyed my chat with Rebecca?