About this blog

I am a Psychotherapist, Cultural Worker and Para-academic. I am Fat.

I started this blog in 2008, around the time that I started working on a PhD. I wanted a place where I could work out ideas and talk things through in a community setting. I knew that I couldn't rely on academia to provide me with that space. As an activist I was more interested in what was happening at grassroots level than what was fashionable in the ivory tower.

I am writing this in 2016, after a period of pruning the blog and adding stronger metadata. As I've gone through each post, I can see how my thinking about fat has changed over the last eight years. I'm no longer a compliant student! An important turning point came in 2011 when I started to think seriously about what fat activism could look like, how it didn't have to replicate the mainstream, how it could be a lot weirder and freer. At the same time, I became a lot more engaged in research ethics and their application within activism. Since graduating, I have been less preoccupied with the debates of the day and more orientated towards fat activism as a product of cultural work, and lately what it has felt like to turn my doctoral thesis into a book. Wave upon wave of interests, all being worked out here.

Sometimes I have made mistakes with this blog, hopefully I have learned from them. Of continuing concern, too, is the shifting nature of what was once known as the Fatosphere, a network of blogs and fat activists. It is now harder to find radical voices talking online about fat than it ever was, despite a roar of background noise and what is called 'body positivity'. I am not alone in being very worried about corporate ownership of the internet, of surveillance and of a creeping conservatism in radical politics, no to mention the appropriation of marginal voices. Speaking publicly about complicated subjects can leave you open to terrible attacks. These things affect what I publish here enormously.

But despite all this I imagine that I will continue blogging, continue trying things out in public, and that there will be more emergent themes, odd diversions, preoccupations that come and go. The blog, as with life, is a live and ongoing project. I've been doing fat activism for a few decades now, and my interest in technology and communication is not slowing down. Longevity in the movement is a rare and lovely thing and I hope to keep going and see what comes.

Charlotte Cooper
London, UK


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