Update – May 2017
Jane Burt, has completed the first module of the Changing Practice Course run with civil society organisations in the Olifants River Catchment. This module, entitled ‘investigating context and practice’, surfaces personal experience within the local context and how this impacts upon the practice of civil society actors (from the local to the global). Jane writes, ‘As with all the previous Changing practice courses, the learning approach and pedagogy is transparent and the course begins with a dialogue about learning, knowledge and education’.
The course is multi-dimensional and holistic in its design. It includes; healing processes which acknowledge that South African society is prone to various degrees of trauma; exploring participants existing practice in context; going on a ‘toxic tour’ which provided the difficult but important experience of witnessing pollution in the catchment; engaging in dialogue on climate change and the intersection of gender.
The organisations represented by course participants include:
- Action Voices
- Young Water Professionals
- Itumuleng Youth Project
- Mpumalanga Water Caucus
- Sekhukhune Environmental Justice Network
The course surfaced the passion that exists in civil society organisations but also the tensions in this work and running such a course. Jane concludes:
Running this course is a privilege, a painful and joyful privilege because to fully engage in and immerse oneself in a pedagogy for the oppressed means owning up to the oppressor and oppressed internally and externally. This does not only mean the individual oppressor and oppressed but the way in which inequity and injustice is structured into the institutions and organisations of which we are a part, the cultures out of which we emerge and the relationships we engage in and form. It also emerges out of the experience of the non-human and the slow violence that is being inflicted upon the earth and so ourselves. Running this course continually teaches us this and forces us to be constantly alert, to continually read the world and, more importantly, engage in the muddling through that is the journey towards social and environmental justice. Jessica Wilson could not make Module one due to sickness. She was very disappointed not to be there. In a thank you note to the faciltators she shared with us how her mother had met Paulo Freire at a conference and asked him for some advice on her work. He said he can’t give advice, he could only talk in parables and as educators we had to enter the mud together and only once we were all fully covered, could a teacher stand up.
See more here: AWARD_monthly report_May2017.
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