event as catalyst

This post is meant to unearth the theoretical kernel at the base of my last post.

I do not believe an event can be an event for an event’s sake. This has two meanings.

The first is that the production of an event necessarily activates relationships between different constituencies and changes, builds or destroys these relationships. This shows that the event is not just the product of these relationships, but the embodiment.

This implicates the unity of means and ends. The second meaning is that one must not ignore this fact when organizing and must not allow the event itself to be the sole focus of pre-planning or post-analysis.

Often we as organizers are preoccupied with the success or failure of a given event. Was the goal reached? Too often this comes down to numbers, how many people showed up?, how many of each type?, anyone new?, how much news coverage? When we frame a discussion of an event like this we give weight to raw, quantitative data.

Instead when we approach the event as a catalyst, a point of action is also a point of departure, creating in the process of becoming, ways of being and ways of acting on the world. When we speak of success it is important to ask whether those ways of being and acting were positive and helped to bring in a new, just world in some way.

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