Trade School – Decommodifying Learning & Teaching

POSTED ON August 19, 2016 BY admin


The destructive and competitive values that sustain capitalism and that legitimate hierarchy – and which are relentlessly pushed throughout society – often undermine the work we try to take forward with people in so much of the work we do in the broader community. It’s so important to challenge these, and to articulate an alternate value set, not only in what we say, but also in what we do. The “Trade School” initiative in our home-town of Pietermaritzburg is a great practical example of “solidarity practices that reinforce values of mutualism, cooperation, social justice, democracy, and ecological sustainability”.

The Pietermaritzburg -based collective that runs Trade School 2016 has created an accessible platform where “anyone can be a teacher and anyone can be a student”. Those who want to teach offer to run a class; & those who want to learn sign up for what the session/s they want– no money changes hands, but learners bring things the teachers ask for as barter, because learning and knowledge has value after all!

The openness of the platform is demonstrated in the great variety of what’s on offer in the different Trade School sessions this year. They range from a session on ‘the rise of democracy from below” led by S’bu Zikode of the South African shack-dweller movement Abahlali baseMjondolo, to a class to learn Highland Dancing; from activist classes on resisting fracking and advancing the waste-pickers’ struggles, to practical sessions on making jewelery, 3-D printed objects and “a decent cup of coffee” – the latter is being run by Micheal Goddard from one of the coolest coffee cafés in the Midlands region!

Read a little more about the international and local background to Trade School in the attached piece and check what’s on offer and what you’re going to register for at:

See pamphlet below:

Trade School Pietermaritzburg