PADKOS NO 81
First Class in the 2018 ‘School of Thought’ , 27 March @ 11am
Firoze Manji returns for another exciting padkos conversation on March 27th. In 2015, Firoze’s amazing input on “What’s Left in Africa?” closed off our ‘School of Thought’ series. This time around, Firoze opens the 2018 edition of a new ‘School of Thought’ which will be organised around celebrating and discussing Paulo Freire, whose seminal book,The Pedagogy of the Oppressed was first published fifty years ago. More details will follow, but the 2018 ‘School of Thought’ will run from now through till June / July and will feature local and international speakers addressing different aspects of the Freireian legacy.
In his contribution to a forthcoming book on Racism After Apartheid – Challenges to Marxism and Antiracism, (edited by Vishwas Satgar. Wits University Press, forthcoming 2018), Firoze Manji argues that:
“Cabral’s statement that ‘We must put the interests of our people higher, in the context of the interests of mankind in general, and then we can put them in the context of the interests of Africa in general’ (Cabral 1979: 80) reminds us that the struggles to reinvent ourselves as humans is relevant not just for those in the location in which such processes take place. They are of universal importance and have value for the struggles to claim and express humanity everywhere. His statement is also a challenge to the Eurocentrism of the many who assume that only the Western experience and its associated revolutions in France and America is of universal significance.”
In this insistence on the universal humanism of all genuinely emancipatory struggle, Manji echoes one of the fundamental insights informing Paulo Freire’s approach – namely (as Anne Harley of the Paulo Freire Project puts it):
“Freire was very concerned to understand the nature of oppression and to understand that it dehumanises everyone, both the oppressed and the oppressor. In the light of this, our vocation is to be humanised. Consequently, for Freire, it is the historical task of the oppressed to liberate everyone. This corresponds in an important way with CLP’s commitment to an emancipatory politics that is always undergirded with universal truth claims” (Harley, 2018 in forthcoming CLP note).
Join us at the Church Land Programme (CLP) offices from 11am to hear and engage Firoze – and stay for some lunch with us. Please let Cindy know that you’re coming by calling (033) 2644 380 or firstname.lastname@example.org
You’re also invited to attend a public seminar in the afternoon that Firoze will present in collaboration with the Paulo Freire Project (Centre for Adult Edcuation, UKZN). That will be from 3.30 to 4.30, at the Hexagon Theatre (Golf Road), to be followed by drinks and snacks!
More about Firoze Manji (prepared by Anne Harley 2018):
Born in Kenya, Firoze Manji is publisher of Daraja Press a not-for-profit publishing collective that seeks to contribute to reclaiming the past, contesting the present and inventing the future. He is a member of the Greenpeace Africa board. In the past, he has worked as head of the documentation and information centre of the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA), editor-in-chief of the prize-winning pan-African social justice newsletter and website, Pambazuka News, commissioning editor of Pambazuka Press, executive director (1997-2010) of Fahamu, Africa Programme Director for Amnesty International, Chief Executive of the Aga Khan Foundation (UK), and Regional Representative for Health Sciences in Eastern and Southern Africa for the Canadian International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Manji has published widely on health, social policy, human rights and political science, and authored and edited a wide range of books on social justice in Africa, including on women’s rights, trade justice, on China’s role in Africa and on the recent uprisings in Africa. He has also played a seminal role in publishing works related to pan-Africanism, through his involvement in Pambazuka Press, and Daraja Press. As part of this work, he has, for example, co-edited Claim no easy victories: The legacy of Amilcar Cabral.