In our T-learning work we need to actively nurture the links between knowledge production/academic work, learning and action that is real, responsive, playful and careful towards a common good. An example of such work can be found in the process of creating the book ‘Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work’ edited by Astrid von Kotze and Shirley Walters. The year-long process of creating this book was well represented by the book launch which took the form of a day-long workshop at a national meeting of popular educators (Popular Education Development) in Kleinmond, Western Cape run by the Popular Education Programme. I write as someone who assisted in the compiling of the book so I have insight into how the book came into being. In what follows I report on my experience at the intertwined book launch / workshop as an enacting of ideas linking scholarly work to learning and action.
First, a bit of background on the book.
The writing of the chapters was preceded by a workshop in which authors engaged the question of popular education’s role in the difficult work of forging solidarity. This question is explored by authors in multiple positions and physical locations – scholars and social movement activists, in South Africa, Senegal, France, India, Chile, Canada, Australia – covering a range of contexts and issues. I was privileged enough to be assistant to the editors on this process and witness the inner workings of the book making process. See more detail about the book here. The following review of the book nicely sums up its content and contribution:
Corporate minds and agribusiness poison the water we drink, the air we breathe and the food we eat. Together with the political proxies they destroy the earth and her peoples – too many are killed because of their military, economic, religious and information wars. How do we stand up for ourselves and the earth that nourishes us against this global system? Forging Solidarity