Are you an Activist?

On the lead up to and during the Amplify project, we decided to conduct a couple of experiments.  

If you follow us on Instagram or Twitter, you may have noticed us posting a couple of polls on a weekly basis. Perhaps in your quintessential social media manager fashion, yes, we wanted to see what the engagement would be like on the different platforms and test the polling tools for future use. However the results revealed something a lot more interesting… 

For context, our stats tell us that the two biggest age ranges within our Instagram community is 25-34 year olds and 18-24 year olds. Plus, according to wider Twitter statistics, the top two age demographics across the platform are 25-34 and 34-49*. So, while we can’t be 100% accurate with our presumptions, it may be safe to deduct our following on Twitter to be slightly older than it is on Instagram.   

These polls that we shared comprised ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ questions, which were:  

  • Have you ever been to a protest?  
  • Does protest create change? 
  • Can theatre be protest?  
  • Would you call yourself an activist?  

Across these questions, we had a total of 162 responses, averaging 32 replies on Instagram and 7 on Twitter. Have a look at the answers yourself and see if you can deduce anything… 



can theatre be protest?


What do you think? Are there any clear trends? 

When we started to analyse them, we thought it was overwhelmingly clear that our online community valued protest as a means of political change, with the majority believing they have contributed to this change by attending protests themselves. The majority also considered theatre as a form of protest and, when prompted, were able to provide some of these great examples of ‘the best political performance/theatre’ that they’ve ever seen: 

  • The Cheviot, The Stag and The Black Black Oil by John McGrath 
  • Revolt, She Said. Revolt Again. By Alice Birch 
  • The Making of Pinocchio by Cade & MacAskill 
  • As British as Watermelon by mandla  
  • 142hz Can’t Pass by Ink Asher Hemp 

Comparing the first and final poll results, we can see that although the majority have attended protests in the past, there is a more varied response when asked if they would consider themselves an activist. While very close, responders on Twitter generally wouldn’t consider themselves an activist – which brings us to the question; what makes you an activist and when do you own that label? 

Over the last few months producing Amplify, these questions have naturally bled into our weekly team meetings and discussions, examining areas such as performative activism, identity and the presence of hope when it comes to current generational feelings surrounding political issues. What does it mean to take on the label of ‘Activist’ and what weight does it bear? Do you only gain the badge after attending your first protest? Or your fifth? Or tenth? Does the world need more self-proclaimed activists even if you did only share a few posts on your Instagram story? Is that enough?  

We definitely don’t have the answers, but we’re motivated by the conversation and by the journey we can take to start to uncover some of them.  

Three young people walk holding a banner that reads 'Hear Our Voices' in block red lettering. The banner is bordered with cut up newspaper.
Image by Jack Wrigley

Within Amplify, the young people created their own political performances, sharing them with their fellow youth theatre groups at the end of the project (in some cases in public settings). Whilst not everyone in the groups may identify as activists, they all contributed towards building their own protests and interventions. They were passionate about a range of social and political issues, weaving them into conversations with each other which in turn informed the actions. Issues that the group felt most pertinent to their lives included LGBTQ+ rights, Women’s rights, amplifying the voices of young people, mental health and environmental concerns. You can see how these actions manifested during the workshops and end sharing event by watching the project film…  

Thank you to everyone that participated in Amplify and our social media campaign. If you found this interesting, be sure to keep up with all our latest blog posts on Dialogue and please drop us a message via our socials with any of your own thoughts about what we’ve discussed in this post – we’d love to hear from you.  

Come back soon! 

– Josie

* Stats from:,those%2025%2D34%20years%20old

You can also find out more about the project and the youth theatres involved on the Amplify page.

What are your thoughts on activism and performance protest? Let us know on social media.