Frantz Fanon, Iconic psychiatrist and author of books such as “Wretched of the Earth”, wrote that “literature increasingly involves itself in its only real task, which is to get society to reflect and mediate”.
In addition, Freire’s “Pedagogy” is also the archetypal case in point of a book, which is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
Freire was a Brazilian educator, who grew up during the poverty of the Great Depression in the 1930s and published one of his seminal works “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”, in English in 1970. Freire’s book, rooted in his experience of liberation in Brazil is equally apt in the context of the Arab Spring, and particularly after the death of Gaddafi last week.
One of Freire’s central tenets was that “education is freedom” that leads toward true liberation and that the “banking” concept of education- where students are empty vessels to be filled, acts as an instrument of oppression. He called on the cultivation of a critical consciousness (conscientizacao), enabling those to reflect upon their own reality and thereby transform it.
“How can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in developing the pedagogy of their liberation” Freire asks?
It is this concept of the oppressed initiating and participating in their own liberation, as was the case in the Arab Spring, which was central to Freire’s writing.
Portions of Donna's paper were presented at APA Division 48 Invited Symposium: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: Potential Psychological Contributions to Resolution, Reconciliation, and Peace Building (August 2011, Washington DC). The full paper online can be found at Facilitate Global.
Models of Restorative Justice for Peace-Building and Transformative Societal Change In Palestine-Israel
I come in peace with the intention of enhancing relationships, engaging in dialogue, creating alliances, building bridges and actively being a more effective agent of social change. None of that can be done by avoiding the truth. We can only move toward peace with justice if we collectively are willing to do what needs to be done. I am a third generation Lebanese/Syrian American, raised as an Orthodox Christian. Until I was 16, I thought that all Arabs were either Syrian or Lebanese and that all were Orthodox Christians. I have a strong background in the world of business. At the age of 36, I graduated from law school and practiced law for many years, mostly representing adults and juveniles accused of crimes as a public defender and as private counsel. I became a lawyer because I thought I would acquire the tools to be a more effective agent of social change. I was wrong. Thankfully, I am now retired from the practice of law. I eventually had to admit I was almost powerless over the very broken criminal (justice) system in which I found myself working.
After helping to move mass quantities of human beings through the criminal system, in a small rural county in Pennsylvania, utilizing the punitive model, I discovered the concept of “restorative justice” (RJ)-- an effective and holistic alternative to the punitive system being used by people around world.
My experiences told me clearly that punishment was not effective in adjusting the behavior of the same people who kept coming through the justice system. The indigenous practices of community, healing, and reconciliation had the potential to be transformative. RJ recognizes that harm to an individual also has other layers and dimensions. Not only is the individual affected by the harm, the community, the families of the victim and offender and the offender are also affected.
This special event launched the recent publication of Peace Movements Worldwide, a three-volume anthology with chapters covering insights and action from every continent with accounts of courageous and creative actions, ranging from the personal to the global.
Saybrook professor Marc Pilisuk co-edited the volume and speakers included members of the Saybrook community: Donald Rothberg, Melissa Anderson-Hinn, Angel Ryono, Gianina Pellegrini, and moderator Bob Flax.
The event was recorded by Wolfgang Saumweber and made available free online, in 5 parts.
With the many Occupy movements currently underway worldwide, there is an increased need for preparation and training in nonviolent protest. Many resources have been offered on the Peace and Justice Studies Association listserv, including the following.
By Jillian York, 10/31/2011, in Movements.org
(This article is cross posted from Al Jazeera English)
Last week in San Francisco, a unique gathering occurred. Dubbed "Rightscon" (Silicon Valley Human Rights Conference), the conference attracted Silicon Valley executives, activists, academics and NGOs, all gathered in one room to debate the role of human rights within the tech industry, as well as the role of the tech industry in serving human rights interests.
Incidents from the past year - from the denial of service to WikiLeaks by Amazon, PayPal and others to the complicity of international companies in Egypt’s telecommunications shutdown - have put the subject of human rights at the forefront of discussion within the technology industry. While companies debate their responsibilities to serve activists, whose particular circumstances may be seen as "edge cases", NGOs often frame their advocacy within the same rubric.
Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, who is currently under threat of military prosecution, argued that the framing is wrong, stating that both parties should think more about ordinary users. Referring specifically to the controversysurrounding identity on social networks, Facebook and Google+, he said:
"When ordinary users can’t choose a pseudonym, their identity is negated. Women know the importance of negotiating identity, they do it all the time. So do gays, religious minorities, whatever. We choose how to reveal who I am, on what terms and in what basis. When you restrict me from doing this, you violate my human rights… It is about who I am, my identity, how I express myself and how I communicate with the world."
This section of the PHS Forum is dedicated to sharing resources that students, faculty, and the larger Saybrook Community might find helpful. Look here for links to web services, journals, resource databases, conference materials, and other valuable ways of networking with like-minded colleagues.
On the home front, John is part of a small network of educators teaching the Sierra Mother Lode population about building and preserving individual, family, and community resilience. Once a "critical mass" of families and individuals have decided about their own preparations, the focus will shift to generating a number of cooperative / collaborative community level projects for enhanced and secure local living in the Sierra foothills.
Eugene Taylor, Professor in the College of Psychology and Humanistic Studies at Saybrook University, has been elected a Fellow in Division 24, the Society for Theoretical and Philosophical Psychology, and Division 32, the Society for Humanistic Psychology in the American Psychological Association.
Professor Taylor is already a Fellow in Division 1, The Society for General Psychology, and Division 26, The Society of the History of Psychology.
To be considered for inclusion in Volume 35, papers should arrive by February 1, 2012.
Research in Social Movements, Conflicts and Change (RSMCC), a peer-reviewed volume published by Emerald Group Publishing/JAI Press, encourages submissions for Volume 35 of the series. This volume will have both thematic and open-submission sections and will be guest edited by Nicole Doerr (University of California, Irvine) Alice Mattoni (University of Pittsburgh) and Simon Teune (Social Science Research Center Berlin). For the open-submission/non-thematic section, submissions appropriate to any of the three broad foci reflected in the RSMCC series title will be considered. The thematic session is dedicated to the visual analysis of social movements. We encourage submissions that address the subject on one of three levels: