|We know we gave you short notice, but don’t forget to join Daria Zelenova at CLP this Friday 9th November from 12:30 onwards for lunch and a fairly informal conversation. Over the last few years, Daria’s research work has looked at the practices of self-organization and self-empowerment that characterised much of the popular struggle in South Africa in the 1980s. Her interest is not simply historical though. What she’s considering is its role in contemporary political protest here. From our side, we’d also be interested to know why this matters to a Russian researcher and to the world? All those who can come should please let Cindy know at the office (033) 2644 380.
Also be sure to put this one in your diaries NOW! On 7 December, at 14:00, we’ll host the renowned Aziz Choudry at the next Padkos event. Dr. Choudry is widely known and respected as an activist, researcher and writer, and is Professor in International Education at McGill University. His most recent books were: “Organize! Building from the local for global justice”, “Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production”, and “Fight Back: Workplace Justice for Immigrants”. He’ll be in the country working on his current research project which looks at the research practice of small activist research organizations which conduct research almost entirely independently of formal partnerships or collaboration with academic researchers. Prof Choudry is interested in how these researchers “understand, practice and validate their research, and how this knowledge is constructed, disseminated and mobilized as a tool for effective social action by and for social movements in contemporary global justice networks”.
And finally, we’re very excited to announce that a hard-copy compilation of the first 20+ editions of Padkos is on it’s way to all our Padkos comrades! In the Preface to the Padkos Digest we comment that:
CLP’s Padkos mailing list has been a way for us to share written resources, to host discussions with key intellectuals, and to celebrate the power of poetry and the magic of music. Even though it’s a tiny part of our overall work, Padkos is clearly a valuable and valued point of connection for a growing number of our comrades and friends. This digest is an indexed hard-copy collection of the first twenty Padkos mailings. It’s an extraordinary collection from a remarkably productive experiment. We’re confident the digest will be a useful resource for thinking the ongoing struggle of and for emancipation and humanity.
We kicked off the series during October 2010 sharing a paper written by Hungarian doctoral candidate, Anna Selmezci, and inviting comrades to join Anna and ourselves at the offices to discuss it together. Since then, Padkos has given us a way to host quite a few other events featuring some seriously exceptional friends, including Raj Patel, Michael Neocosmos, Marie Huchzermeyer, and S’bu Zikode.
We marked the 50th anniversary of the death of Frantz Fanon in a big way at CLP – and Padkos was a significant vehicle to make it all happen. Over a number of months, a series of magnificent contemporary articles were sent out on the Padkos list, and it all culminated in “The Fanomenal Event” that we co-hosted with the Paulo Freire Project (CAE, UKZN) at the end of May 2011. Writers and thinkers that became part of it all included Peter Hallward, Michael Neocosmos, Richard Pithouse, Mabogo More, S’bu Zikode, Nigel Gibson, and Itumeleng Mosala.
The mix of authors in these first 20+ editions includes CLP’s voice as well, with pieces we wrote like: Finding our voice in the world; Fighting for justice in rural KZN; Food Sovereignty, and Dark corners of the state we’re in. The mix of voices was dominated by written articles not surprisingly – but we also posted video resources on YouTube, made DVDs of “The Fanomenal Event” material, put together “Out of this world” – a CD of music, and hosted afternoons of live music and poetry. We even hijacked our own roundtable discussion about the political meaning of the attacks on Abahlali baseMjondolo at Kennedy Road (subsequently written up in the CLP piece“Dark Corners…”) to get that powerful group of activist intellectuals to protest Israeli-state-sponsored theatre productions being showcased at a regional arts festival!