PADKOS NO 85
Featuring Mary Akuteye, Erica Ofoe, Kofi Larweh, Jonathan Langdon & Eurig Scandrett
An extraordinary panel from Ghana, as well as Canada & Scotland, closes out this six-month season of CLP’s “School of Thought”, which has been developed with the Paulo Freire Project at UKZN. This year’s “School of Thought” has been organised around the contribution and legacy of Paulo Freire, whose Pedagogy of the Oppressed was published 50 years ago. Central to his work is the idea of praxis – that unity of reflection and action that drives true transformation in a forward-moving dialectic. It seems correct then that we start this padkos session sharing meaning and learning from within the struggles of the people of the Ada Songor in Ghana, defending communal access to West Africa’s largest salt-yielding lagoon.
Mary Akuteye, Erica Ofoe, and Kofi Larweh with Jon Langdon (whom we’re thrilled to welcome back!) will present a mutual-meaning making panel on the the Yihi Katsɛmɛ (Brave Women) movement – the latest iteration of the Ada Songor Salt Movement (Ghana). This panel will focus in particular on the use and social-movement-learning dimensions of culturally-rooted creativity (songs, dance/drama, and a tapestry) by the Yihi Katsɛmɛ.
There will be a session after lunch with Eurig Scandrett who will reflect on some connections between popular struggles around the world, popular education, and the resonance and relevance of Paulo Freire. Eurig is an Edinburgh-based movement activist and academic who is currently compiling an important new book on environmental justice struggles.
Brief notes on our contributors:
Mary Akuteye – President of Yihi Katsɛmɛ
Mary is a salt winner and salt trader who has been organizing women in her home town, Bonikope for years. Her anti-atsiakpo (small scale private enclosures of the saltpan by local and national elites) stance has led her to be targeted and threatened by her neighbours. Despite this, she continues to speak for a return to communal access to the lagoon.
Erica Ofoe – Coordinator, Radio Ada
Erica has been the coordinator of Ghana’s oldest community radio station since 2015. Hailing from a Songor community, she has worked to support the emergence of women’s voices and leadership in the Ada salt movement through radio programming and hosting open movement meetings at Radio Ada.
Kofi Larweh – Ghana Community Radio Network
Kofi was the first coordinator of Radio Ada, and has been involved in Songor salt resistance going back to the 1980s. Kofi now works with the Ghana Community Radio Network, helping other community radio stations across Ghana support their communities in making change.
Jonathan Langdon – St. Francis Xavier University
Jon has been working with the Ada salt movement since 2008. As an adult educator, and social movement learning scholar, he has worked with the movement to document its ongoing learning.
Eurig Scandrett – Queen Margaret University
Eurig lectures in sociology and is a trade union officer in University and College Union. He worked as an environmental scientist before moving into community education, and was Head of Community Action at Friends of the Earth Scotland. He works on popular education for gender justice and learning in environmental justice movements. He contributed to Bhopal Survivors Speak: Emergent Voices from a People’s Movement; Learning and education for a better world: The role of social movements and Environmental Nakba: Environmental injustice and violations of the Israeli occupation of Palestine.