Falling


Danielle Goldman uses the word ‘falling’ when speaking of the non-violence training that activists take part in. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary falling is the action of dropping oneself to a lower position. But, in the case of the activists it means forming a ball with your body or being lifeless.

Goldman uses the word falling in many ways to describe different forms of activism. In her first instance, she explains how falling does not equate to giving up. Instead, Goldman explains that it was a protective technique used by activist to protect vital body parts when being attacked (94). She then goes on to speak of how protestors use being lifeless as a form of activism. Many activists argued that stillness such as ‘falling’ embraces a notion of passivity (94). This is not helpful to a protest as it allows for their message to be ignored. However, Goldman stated that the act of stillness can also be powerful. She used an example of students waiting on service from a segregated lunch counter (94). Although this was not a violent protest it still managed to send a message.

When reading this section I was perturbed by her use of stillness in activism. Like many individuals, I thought protest were violent and aggressive. This seemed to be the best way of having your message acknowledge by the public. Yet, Goldman reinforced this idea that violence isn’t always the best option. Her explanation of the power in stillness made me realise that ‘falling’ can work as well. In the chapter, she speaks of being limp as a form of non-cooperation (94). This is used to highlight protestors point of view on an issue as well as force authorities to move them. And during this process persons will realise what they are fighting for and join them.

Works Cited

Golman, Danielle. "Bodies on the Line: Contact Improvisation and Techniques of Nonviolent Protest" I Want To Be Ready: Improvised Dance as a Practice of Freedom. 94-111. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan Press, 2010. Merriam-Webster "Definiton of falling." Accessed 7 Jan 2018. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/falling.