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An archive of features about Popular Education

Update, Monday, 11 June 2018 - Just two weeks to go!

Dear PEN 2018 Participants!

Welcome

Just two weeks to go – and we are very much looking forward to welcoming you to PEN18. For those who have attended PEN previously, you will know that PEN is a relatively informal, congenial, co-operative space, where we all take responsibility for ensuring a stimulating, challenging and fun conference for all.

We have tried to find a venue that promotes these aspirations, and we hope that the introduction to Goedgedacht just after we arrive, and subsequent walks-and-talks on the farm will explain our choice. Do bring walking shoes and raincoats!  Please also bring warm clothes – it can get quite cold (for South Africa!)

during winter up in the mountains. Please be mindful that there is a serious drought in the Western Cape, and save water wherever / however you can. We will provide buckets to catch shower-water which can be used to flush the toilets. Do not leave your tap running while brushing your teeth!

The programme is very full and choices may be difficult! You will receive copies of abstracts on your arrival to help you decide which sessions to go to.

Guidelines for presenters and facilitation of sessions

There are three types of sessions: Plenaries, workshops and parallel sessions of 3 presenters.

Presenters in the parallel sessions will have 15-20 minutes each to present, with 10 minutes for discussion.

Invitation (PEN) Community Gathering Pre-conference 26 June 2018

A one day fun event which focuses on the theme Engaging (with) Power is planned as an opportunity for PEN Conference participants, and those who can’t make it to the conference to meet and share approaches to education and organizing which challenges oppressive power relations.

Popular educators will  engage with one another in debates, a world café, mini-workshops, and exhibits to network, deepen connections, share insights and expertise.

This day is for popular educators, organisers, activists and scholar-activists from Cape Town, other parts of South Africa and international guests.

DATE: 26 June 2018

TIME:  10am – 16h00

COST: Free

REFRESHMENTS: PEN 18 will offer a light lunch. Tea/coffee will be for sale at nominal rates.

Registration: Participants will register at no charge to assist with networking.

RSVP: please let us know if you will attend by replying to this email.

For further information contact Yasmine at Pen2018@populareducation.co.za

 

 

 

Application for PEN18 Conference Support

The organisers would like to ensure that people are not denied the opportunity of attending PEN18 through lack of resources. However, the funds are very limited. Should you receive support, you may be asked to contribute “sweat equity”, ie. assist the organisers in some way. 

Please email your application to Pen2018@populareducation.co.za

Please indicate what support is most needed.

  1. Accomodation at Goedgedacht Farm for two nights
  2. Transport to and from Cape Town to Goedgedacht Farm
  3. Conference fee
  4. Travel to /from Cape Town (indicate place of departure)

Please motivate why your participation at PEN18 is important.

Name:

Signature:

Contact details:

Email:

Phone number:

Date:

The 8th International Conference of the Popular Education Network (PEN)

Wednesday, 27th – Friday, 29th June 2018

Goedgedacht Farm, Outside Cape Town, South Africa (27 - 29 June)

The EighthInternational Conference of the Popular Education Network (PEN) will take place in at ‘Goedgedacht Farm’, a rural development programme outside Cape Town, with a pre-conference day on 26 June, at Community House, Salt River, in the City. (http://goedgedachtevents.org.za/accommodation/ )

 

About PEN 2018

Navigating our way: a compass for popular educators by Astrid von Kotze, Shirley Walters, and Thembi Luckett, Studies in the Education of Adults, Vol. 48(1), 2016

Introduction

In 1976, the year that Soweto school children said ‘enough’ and got shot for rejecting apartheid education in South Africa, Junction Avenue Theatre Company workshopped and performed their play, ‘Fantastical History of a Useless Man’. The play depicted an-other view of history and began with the historical figures of Jan van Riebeeck and Simon van der Stel stepping out of 10 Rand notes, signaling how economics and politics have always gone hand in hand.  It ended with the ‘useless man’ looking back at the violence of colonial history and the deep relationship between wealth, poverty, power and politics. Weighing up different options for playing a useful part in the future of South Africa, the ‘useless man’ decided that building the future would be a project of ‘the broad masses of the people who live voiceless’, and thus, ‘the most I can do is be the least obstruction’. In the background flew a huge banner that spelled ‘revolution’. As it turned out, there was no revolution in South Africa – and the struggle for a distribution of wealth and a radically different future continues to this day.

Enacting ideas at a workshop/book launch: Forging solidarity and a consideration of power. Reflection by Anna James

In our T-learning[1] work we need to actively nurture the links between knowledge production/academic work, learning and action that is real, responsive 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 run by the Popular Education Programme. In what follows I report on the intertwined book launch / workshop as an enacting of ideas linking scholarly work to learning and action.

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at work - Saliem Patel. Author of Study circles Solidarity through learning.

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at work - Interview with Sebastian Vielmas

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at work - Diana Skelton 'People in extreme poverty act for change'. Chapter co-authored with Martin Kalisa

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at work - Deshpande interview

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at work - interview with the editors

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


Saliem Patel. Author of 'Study circles: Solidarity through learning.

We are delighted to share with you, hot off the press, our new book: 

Forging Solidarity: Popular Education at Work. 

We hope that this is a timely intervention to help strengthen our collective work all over the world, where democratic spaces are shrinking and the ‘fight back’ is occurring. We will appreciate it if you can share with your networks, and in so doing support hopeful visions for socially just alternatives.

Click here for more details about the book.


The Traditions of Popular Education in South Africa - a Collection in the Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive

While exploring the Traditions of Popular Education in South Africa, we have collected materials generated over the last 60 years. They span a variety of types, topics and organisations, thought to be relevant to popular education. In order to safe guard and share this collection, in 2016 we set up an archive collection at the Robben Island Museum Mayibuye Archive (Mayibuye Archive) at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). The Mayibuye Archive is … ” a unique and often fragile documentary record of South Africa's history and culture, particularly with regard to the apartheid period, the freedom struggle and political imprisonment in South Africa (SA)” (Read more here).

The materials in our collection go some way to documenting educational efforts in the context of the ‘freedom struggle’ and we see these materials as valuable for on-going struggles of people today. We hope educators and educational activists will add to the collection thus ensuring it will remain a living monument!

Description of the collection

The story of Maria and Marius: a South African story of domestic abuse

A play made and performed by a group of women from Delft, members of The Women’s Circle and participants in the Popular Education Programme

Maria and Marius in love

Once, there were two young people, Maria and Marius, who fell in love with each other.  But they lived in an environment that was extremely violent: drugs and gang-wars, abuse of all kinds kept people indoors, for fear of being attacked. Yet, soon the ugliness of abuse in the streets and neighbourhoods penetrated their home and relationship, and they began to fight.

Seeking work

Feminism on the internet: a workshop hosted by Women'sNet and Association for Progressive Communication (APC): 21-22 November 2016.

Image: ICTs for Feminist Movement Building Activist Toolkit (Source)

In our uneven society, how has the internet been created and how is it shaping us? This question was interrogated at a workshop titled Feminist Principles of the Internet and ICTs for Movement Building hosted by the Association of Progressive Communication (APC) and Women’sNet (held on 22 and 23 November 2016). Today, the internet offers vast access in terms of resources, news, opportunities and networking - to those who are connected. However, many are not able to access internet due to a lack of infrastructure, unaffordability of data, language barriers or the tricky task of sifting through the enormity of information for action. Just like in the real world, gender (and other oppressive structures) determines access differentially, often with violent and discriminatory effects for women or non-conforming genders. But, as in the real world, there is hope and the possibility to work against this.

Some questions posed were: Who controls the internet? How does the internet control us? How do we stay safe and help others to feel safe on the internet? How has the landscape of activism changed as a result of the internet? Are we more connected or more divided as a result of the internet?  

Language and power in spaces for educating: Co-constructing understanding(s) of terms

 


Ngũgĩ wa Thiong'o (1986) writes about his colonial school in Kenya in the 1950s. At this school, if anyone was caught speaking a language other than English, they were made to wear a wooden frame around their neck which read, ‘I am a donkey’. Today in Cape Town we hear of students being ‘de-merited’ at some schools for speaking isiXhosa in the playground – a language prominently spoken in the Cape. Historically and still today, language has often been used in formal educational contexts to control and oppress. What are we teaching when we punish people for speaking their home language? Amongst other things, we are dismissing a culture and suggesting that only certain cultures align with what we think of as `education`. We are a multi-lingual society, with 11 official languages, but we are still to develop methodologies which enable everyone to be understood, feel included and ‘at home’, whether in formal educational spaces or informal meetings. How can we challenge domination through the way we use language when we communicate?