This blog is written to support my former work at Ruskin College with trade unionists in the UK and internationally. Please feel to comment on, constructively criticise, and add to what is posted here. It is my hope that the blog posts encourage discussion and debate on how best to secure trade union renewal globally. I hope also to continue to support Ruskin's tradition of critical pedagogy in opening debate and dialogue in the pursuit of social, political and economic justice.
As those who regularly read this blog will know, a key focus and interest of mine is the means by which activists learn and shape their craft. This new text enters this domain with a focus on anarchist geographies.
As the advertising blub states:
How do activists learn radical politics? Does the increasing neoliberalisation of education limit the possibilities of transgressive pedagogies? And in what contexts have anarchist geographers successfully shaped alternative pedagogic practices?
Pedagogy is central to geographical knowledge and represents one of the key sites of contact where anarchist approaches can inform and revitalize contemporary geographical thought. This book looks at how anarchist geographers have shaped pedagogies that move towards bottom-up, ‘organic’ transformations of societies, spaces, subjectivities, and modes of organizing, where the importance of direct action and prefigurative politics take precedence over concerns about the state. Examining contemporary and historical case studies across the world, from formal and informal contexts, the chapters show the potential for new imaginaries of anarchist geographies that will challenge and inspire geographers to travel beyond the traditional frontiers of geographical knowledge.
The case studies deployed to explore the core thrust include the Zapatista tradition of education as a formative anti-neo-liberal model to. There is an article in Roar Magazine based on this chapter:
Growing up in Moss Side at a time of great economic and political turbulence, it was Darcus Howe through his writing and occasional appearances on television at the time, who made the greatest impact on me in linking contemporary racism to the UK's colonial past.
The tributes pouring in reflect his role challenging endemic racism in UK society, not least within state machinery, and particularly the police force. As is stated in the Guardian articled linked above: In a hugely varied and influential journalistic career, he was also an editor of Race Today, wrote columns for both the New Statesman and the Voice, and served as chair of the Notting Hill carnival. His television work included the multicultural current affairs documentary The Bandung File, which he co-edited with Tariq Ali, and more recently White Tribe, a look at modern Britain.
Howe's legacy is vitally important in the current context of Brexit and the rise of populist politics and the far right. Please look out for the many hundred of articles critiquing his life and political contribution.