Learning from the ground up with Aziz Choudry

POSTED ON March 11, 2013 BY admin


Big thanks to visiting Russian activist and researcher, Daria Zelenova, for a really valuable and engaging Padkos lunch conversation last Friday. Although the focus has been on Daria’s South African struggle research, it’s clear that Russia too has entered a dangerously repressive time. The current conditions, developments and suggestions for action are outlined in the attached “Call for solidarity against political repression in Russia” that reached us independently while Daria was with us.

Now we look forward to hosting Aziz Choudry! As mentioned in the previous Padkos, you’re invited to join us at the CLP offices on Friday, 7 December, at 13:30 (note that the time is earlier than the previous announced time). Contact Cindy at cindy@churchland.org.za or 033 2644 380 to confirm your attendance.

Aziz has suggested he shares with us on “Social movement learning, knowledge production and research”. He says:

“Many people see activism as practice – and education, theory and research as something generated elsewhere (e.g. in schools, colleges and universities). My work challenges this assumption, showing that activists through our/their practices actually generate various forms of sophisticated knowledge, engage in significant learning and research in the course of their activism. I draw from over 25 years of my own engagement in community organizing, social and environmental justice activism, activist/community/popular education and research (primarily in Aotearoa/New Zealand, the Asia-Pacific, and more recently, North America) as well as my current work on these issues which includes my current study on activist research practice”.

As background, we’ve attached his 2009 editorial for the McGill Journal of Education titled “Learning in Social Action: Knowledge Production in Social Movements” (Vol 44, No 1, Winter 2009).

Aziz Choudry is Assistant Professor in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education at McGill University, Canada. He is co-author of Fight Back: Workplace Justice for Immigrants (Fernwood, 2009), and co-editor of Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production (Palgrave Macmillan, 2010), and Organize! Building from the local for Global Justice, (PM Press/Between the Lines, 2011). A long time social and environmental activist, writer and researcher, he has worked extensively in numerous NGOs, movements and activist groups throughout Asia- Pacific and Canada.

And finally we’re including a magnificent piece from our good friend and comrade, Lindela ‘Mashumi’ Figlan of the South African shack-dweller movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo. Currently on a speaking tour in the UK, Lindela presented these reflections on the ‘politic of dignity’ at the Anarchist Book Fair there. In so many ways, the resonances from John Holloway’s visit continue through successive Padkos editions.

Solidarity Against Political Repression in Russia  – Read Attachment

Learning in Social Action – Read Attachment

The Politic of Human Dignity – Read Attachment