Paulo Freire Centennial: 7 Talks in Preparation for the Next 100 Years

Published on by Ana Suzina
This cycle celebrates the centennial of the birth of Brazilian educator, Paulo Freire (1921-1997), and, inspired by his works, invites radical thinking and political imagination. Freire’s ‘ontological call’ is associated with five principles, those of humility, empathy, love, hope and dialogue (Freire, 2017, p. 33), which he presented as the spirit of one of his main referential works, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, originally published in 1968. These principles were developed by Freire in different degrees and forms throughout his works, and they also served as inspiration for many thinkers and practitioners all over the world. Can they serve as seminal inspiration for creatively devising the next 100 years? Recognizing Freire’s strong influence upon participatory communication and civil society development in Brazil and beyond , this cycle includes two Plenaries and five Global Exchanges from 9th to 24th March 2021. We are also inviting local groups (research centres, faculties, networks of practitioners etc) to engage organizing Local Exchanges to unfold the Global Dialogues in relation to their contexts. Organizers: Coordination: Ana Cristina Suzina and Thomas Tufte, Institute for Media and Creative Industries The Institute for Media and Creative Industries (IMCI) at Loughborough University London focuses particularly on the shifting dynamics between communication, culture and power in the organisation of the creative and cultural industries. This includes legacy mass media and newer digital and social media systems and includes arts and heritage sectors. Its research interests span everyday communication, media and cultural practices; media, communication and identities; and, media and communication for social change. Since 2019, the IMCI has held a series of activities gathering scholars from different regions of the world about the legacy of Paulo Freire in the field of participatory communication and civil society development. Recently, some of its scholars have published two special issues coming from a previous cycle of debates around this subject. Collaboration: Jessé Barbosa and Eulália Vasconcelos, Instituto Ubiqua The Instituto Ubiqua is a Brazilian non-profit organization, founded in 2010. It has as purposes: share solutions, use the digital resources to stimulate human connection and promote communication as a right, acting in an equal and inclusive way, with respect to diversity. Programme Opening Plenary: Homage to Paulo Freire in his centenary March 9th, 2021, 10 am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) Frei Betto, Dominican Friar and Writer, Brazil Moderator: Thomas Tufte March 10th, 10am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) : Dialogue “Dialogue is Freire’s central mechanism of change and this is what makes Peruzzo define that, more than pedagogical, Freire’s vision is one of communication. As she states, communication is profoundly inscribed into his model of teaching and learning. It is part and parcel of a permanent exchange between teachers and pupils. Waisbord takes the argument a step further, suggesting that ‘communication is how we learn to be human’, and highlighting how Freire’s work displays several features that configure a ‘blueprint for democratic communication’ that clashes with any manifestation of populism. Dialogue is, therefore, a cross-cutting principle.” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.414) Speakers: Claudia Magallanes, Universidad Iberoamericana Puebla, Mexico Mairá Lima, Landless Workers Movement, Brazil, Brazil Moderators: César Jiménez-Martínez, Cardiff University, and Happy Singu-Hansen, Loughborough University London March 15th, 2021, 10am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) : Love “The principle of love guides an approach that connects reason with the senses. Raquel Paiva emphasizes the cultural nature of Freire’s pedagogy whereby he places the value of relationships over the rigor of discipline. It is a method that acknowledges the Other in plenitude and all forms of knowledge. Overall, it is a model of development based on collective ties including all beings, humans or not.” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.414-415) Speakers: Karin Wilkins, University of Miami, USA Xavier Carbonell, Certificate of Compassion and Social Communication from Signis and the Xavier University of Bhubaneshwar, India Moderator: Amalia Sabiescu, Loughborough University London March 17th, 2021, 10 am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) : Empathy “Empathy goes beyond generosity. In Freire’s vision of development, there is no room for charity in the sense of classifying those in need as lacking capacity or being disabled in any way. Rather the principle of empathy is a form of recognizing different points of departure that make it harder for some to reaching their goals. The principle of empathy recognizes inequalities and takes them as collective issues rather than a matter of individual effort or merit. Need, or being in need, is a sign of domination of some over others. Empathy is then required to trigger a change that will provide the dominated with what is necessary to break this cycle of oppression.” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.414) Speakers: Linje Manyozo, RMIT University, Australia James Deane, BBC Media Action, United Kingdom Moderator: Sharon Prendeville, Loughborough University London March 18th, 2021, 10 am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) : Hope “the principle of hope is about trusting a new just social order as the horizon to pursue, like in Eduardo Galeano’s vision of utopia where every step towards it makes it move a step away, under the golden purpose of keeping one walking (Galeano, 2013). Hope is both the principle and the rule with which to achieve a critical view and a permanent search for change: ‘Freire’s work represents the communicative politics of hope - the notion that humans can change themselves and transform social conditions in order to produce a more just society’ (Waisbord, 2020). Thereby, Waisbord argues, a Freirean approach becomes a source of democratic resilience. Consequently, the opposite of asymmetry is not symmetry but is justice and coexistence in the sense of carving out space for different forms of being and understanding.” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.415) Speakers: Benjamin Ferron, Université Paris 12 Créteil, France Eriberto Gualinga Montalvo, indigenous filmaker, Ecuador Moderator: Burce Celik, Loughborough University London March 23rd, 2021, 10 am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) : Humility “Freire places humility as a specific requirement to recognize that people – any people – are knowledgeable. Dialogue, achieved through communication and with humility, becomes a place of encounter in everyday life, where knowledge is constructed and reconstructed on a permanent basis. (…) However, humility suggests that the authentic truth does not belong to any one individual or group, nor is it imposed by one group upon another. Authentic truth – or the authentic word, in Freire’s terminology – is rather an outcome of a permanent exercise of action and reflection that takes into account the reality and the perspective of each part (Suzina, 2019).” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.414) Speakers: Colin Chasi, University of the Free State, South Africa Anita Gurumurthy, IT for Change, India Closing Plenary: Pisar suavemente sobre a terra: towards a pedagogy of coexistence March 24th, 2021, 10 am (Sao Paulo) / 1 pm (London) Ailton Krenak, indigenous human rights activist, Brazil Moderator: Ana Cristina Suzina

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