A strong case for hashtivism? Look to Gina Martin. A political activist, who utilised her social media skills and mobilised communities to lead a two-year campaign which made upskirting a criminal offence in England and Wales last year. Alongside being a change-maker with a 75,000 strong following, she is also an author, painter and writer. Intimidatingly talented, yes, but also exceptionally lovely, and very funny. Which is all the more evident in her new podcast, Might Delete Later - which she co-hosts with her sister, Stevie, a writer and comedian.
It was born out of their polar opposite feelings about social media. “I love it as a tool for change,” she says. "Stevie doesn't like how it makes her think about how she looks and encourages comparison." Thus, she wanted to explore people's relationships with social media in a more honest light with guests. "What was their first post? What was one they wish they hadn't posted? What are they proud of? We've talked to all different types of people - comedians, activists, writers. It’s fun and a good laugh.” So, how does she get it all done? From the complex joy of deciphering priorities to growing passion projects into a full-time job, this is her to do list. Over to you, Gina.
“I enjoy the feeling of being organised and of prioritising as I go. You know how you often don't know the answer to a question until you ask it? Well, I can't figure out what to prioritise until I start writing a list. There's something about writing things out that ensures I retain it properly – like in school. I write it in a New York Times week-per-view diary that I have sitting on my desk. I find having one place that’s always there, that I go back to, is comforting.
I am chronically distracted, so staying organised has been a pain point my entire life. I'm a very creative person, I'm very in my head. Once, a teacher sat me at a desk on my own because I was trying to help everyone with their work and being distracting. The only thing that helps me be organised is waking up earlyish (9am for me) and working out. The energy it gives me makes me want to be productive. If I don't do that I really struggle with momentum.
When it comes to saying yes or no to a project, I am tied to my gut. I have very clear morals and a strong belief system, and I don't find sticking to that hard. I usually don't struggle to know what's the right decision for me, but since starting to try and change the law in 2017, sometimes it feels like I’m in a washing machine. So when my judgement gets clouded and I have to make choices, people around me who know me so well help guide to me: my partner Jordy, my sister Stevie, my family and my friend Ryan who was my lawyer and campaign partner.
I've never seen financial gain as the only gain. My law campaign ran for two years and I ran that every single day while working full-time - I paid out of my own pocket to run that and was incredibly broke. I'm always working on projects that aren't making money yet, alongside the commercial jobs. I see my paid work as the thing that can allow me to work on the campaign/activism stuff that you rarely get paid for, but that is so important. So unpaid work is a big part of my 'job' and It's often the most purposeful work I do.
Fighting for justice started as a passion project and evolved into my full-time job and so I don't generally find it hard to be motivated. But, of course, there's a lot of admin and calls and emails to keep up with which, as a chronically distracted, creative and disorganised person, is hard! So, it's more that I find it hard to motivate to keep organised than to do the work I'd say.
Multiple projects are my jam. I get bored easily and I really need variation and momentum so multiple projects keeps every single day interesting. I love that about my job. I'm learning something every single day because of it.”