The Art of Listening

POSTED ON August 14, 2017 BY admin


In this excellent recent piece for the Mail & Guardian, Richard Pithouse draws together a number of strands that are simply fundamental to our own praxis at the Church Land Programme. He flags some of the key trajectories and connections of a radical tradition of political work that holds at its centre, the art of listening. Pithouse mentions some of the cardinal figures of this tradition who have long inspired and informed our own experiments in praxis – Paulo Freire, Frantz Fanon, Gustavo Gutiérrez, Anne Hope, Steve Biko, Rick Turner, and others.

In his conclusion, Richard reminds us that: “The real challenge of our moment is to find a way to affirm a politics that is as contrary to the dominant spirit of the age as it is committed to the lives, dignity and wellbeing of our people. In politics, there is never any real going back. The past is always mobilised to contest the present, often with an eye on the future. But the military dimensions of struggle, with their inherently authoritarian aspects and salvific promise of heroic masculinity, are not the only usable past that we have to work with as we confront the bitterness, dangers and promise of the present”.