Laughter as Agitation: Taking Action with a Comedic Twist!

Komalpreet Kaur Sahota

Maybe you make yourself a silly little sign, or plan a surprise skit during the middle of a protest, or release a cynical, sarcastic video. Whatever it may be, adding humor is an unexpected means of action that many people do not expect in traditional protests, in term fulfilling the goal of bringing attention to the issues you are addressing. And who doesn’t need a healthy jab at our capitalist, colonialist, racist, patriarchal system? It is important to anchor your humor directly towards an issue you are addressing, and also have further information available to support the action taking place.

How does one do this?

Good question! Even better, what should you not do? Although there is no one way to incorporate humor into your work, there are thoughts to keep in mind as you explore how…

Do… Don’t…
Be out there: Don’t be afraid to be blunt and rile some feathers Have an action that will cause further harm to the parties most impacted by the issues, or any other marginalized group.
Use props! They’re so much fun! You can use puppets or costumes or pies, whatever you can think of! Use props that are offensive to minoritized group.
Those in solidarity! Ensure that the action is designed and supported by the groups most impacted by the issue you are addressing. More importantly you should not even be thinking of taking action without first actively supporting the group most impacted by the issue you want to address. As an individual in solidarity, you SUPPORT. If you are invited to brainstorm, great! But if not, don’t think about it. Going ahead and doing a comedic action without the OK from the groups most impacted by the issue. That is not solidarity (see the rant in the do… portion)

Tags: Play, Public Action