Education. Grassroots resistance strategies
Participants: Tainá Azeredo, Joanna Pawluśkiewicz, Katarzyna Winiarska
In 1970, a breakthrough and radical book appeared – Pedagogy of the Oppressed, written by Paulo Freire. This Brazilian representative of emancipatory pedagogy gave in his book an interpretation of a strategy of how education can become a tool of liberation. The time while Freire was working on his theses, standing up in opposition to the official education system and asserting, that it was exactly thanks to critical teaching that one could break through all the oppressive forms of politics and control was considered a threat to state order.
We now know many examples of grassroots emancipatory pedagogy that have contributed to changes in the critical perception of reality—the Subaltern Studies movement originated in India by, among others, Gayatri Spivak. However, the oncoming global social and political changes, together with the activity of isolationism and xenophobia, provoke a return to actions akin to emancipatory pedagogy. Education can be an active tool of resistance, regardless of geographic location.
The Jan Józef Lipski Common University in Teremiski, Obóz dla Puszczy [Camp for Forest], or Intervalo-Escola are just some examples of how learning by perceiving political, social, and economic contradictions can look as well as how skillful reading of these contradictions can act against the oppressive elements of reality. Following Paulo Freire’s research, the actual methods of breaking the system of so called bank education are rooted in spirit of emancipatory pedagogy, which is the transfer of assets from an assumedly wise teacher/authority to a student’s – assumedly blank, but ready to remember and replay – head. Time to return to critical thinking through education, activism, and sensitization.
Invited to partake in the discussion:
Joanna Pawluśkiewicz – involved in Obóz dla Puszczy [Camp for Forest], actively defending the Białowieza Forest from logging. In addition, she is the co-author of the project Nowe legendy miejskie [New Urban Legends]. Pawluśkiewicz is originally from Kraków and lives in Warsaw. She writes, works in film and television production, and co-operates with the Moma Film Foundation. Her first novel, well received by readers, entitled "Pani na domkach" [Cleaning Lady] was published by the publishing house Ha!art in 2006, successive – "Telenowela" [Telenovela] published in 2007.
Katarzyna Winiarska – a graduate of the Institute of Polish Culture and Faculty of Polish Studies at the University of Warsaw, with postgraduate studies in Judaic Studies at the Faculty of History at the University of Warsaw; animator of culture at the Jacek Kuroń Educational Foundation, co-originator and head of the The Jan Józef Lipski Common University in Teremiski. For many years, she has been conducting activities based on culture animation, intercultural education programs for children, youths as well as adults, historical research, not to mention cultural heritage protection programs in the municipality of Białowieża. Founder and artistic director of the Theatre in the Barn in Teremiski, operating now for 13 years. Co-author of Powitalnika [The Welcomer] for children of refugees. A researcher of the history of the Jewish community in Białowieża and creator of the Virtual Museum of the History of Jews in Białowieża www.jewish-bialowieza.pl under a scholarship from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. Co-ordinator of the visiting "Museum on Wheels" Museum of the History of Polish Jews "Polin" in Białowieża in 2016; producer of the program and film Ocalony z Białowieży [Survivor from Białowieża] within the framework of the Association of Jewish Historical Institute in Poland and in collaboration with director Joanna Troc of the play Sąsiedzi, których nie ma [Our neighbours who aren't present] based on gathered histories of Jews in Białowieża from the village’s oldest inhabitants (which in October was performed at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art). Organizer of the demonstration and opposition in Białowieża in defense of democracy, against the logging of the Białowieża Primeval Forest, education reform, and the Black Protest. Participant of the Civil March for Aleppo. Currently, Winiarska resides in Warsaw.
Tainá Azeredo – Brazilian curator and activist, who for four years has been involved in organizing a grassroots school in the Amazon rainforest. Taina works there with a group of artists, architects, activists, local community as well as local administration. She graduated in Dance and Performing Arts and holds a master’s degree in Art History, Criticism and Curatorial Studies. She was curator of exhibitions and an editor of a publication. She oversaw projects at the Crossway Foundation, coordinated the program Create & Inspire – Brazil for young artists from Arab countries. She was the director of the independent art space Casa Tomada in São Paulo, Brazil, where she developed networking programs. She researches the concept of joint work and horizontal thinking, and curatorial practice is for her an area for provoking discussions, meetings, as well as debates around art. She is currently attending a residency at the Ujazdowski Castle Centre for Contemporary Art under the program Re-Directing: East.
Jakub Rok – biologist, teacher, works in the Food Cooperative "Dobrze", works at the University of Warsaw, activist of Obóz dla Puszczy
Grzegorz Stopa - biologist, works with Obóz dla Puszczy
Curators of discursive programme: Marianna Dobkowska and Konrad Schiller