“ portrait, actively entered into and sustained within our imagination, is our understanding — an explanation in the fullest sense of the word.”
Usually, we approach social change strategically. We try, somehow, to ‘manage’ change. We’re responding to a problem, a ‘situation’, a set of circumstances; something is not working as it should, or could, and this brings problems in its wake. We could be working with a small group of people – even a partnership, even our relationship with someone. Or we could be working on an organisational level, on a community level, on a societal level. We try to figure out what’s going on, we analyse the situation, we look for causes of problems, we look for explanations or reasons for the difficulties, we think of ways to counteract these – we look for solutions. We want to move beyond questions, to action. We feel a sense of discomfort with the situation, we operate from out of a certain urgency. We isolate causes and intervene in order to mitigate their effects. We propose policies, protocols; we re-structure, we move things around. We try to get a situation that is – to an extent – out of control, under control again; we manage some things in order to affect other things.