What We Are Learning: Responses to Pedagogy, Otherwise

June 11, 2018

Introduction

Alessandra Pomarico

Alessandra Pomarico

Alessandra, an editor for ArtsEverywhere, is interested in international and multidisciplinary curatorial projects and residency programs at the intersection of arts, pedagogy, social issues, nano-politics, and community building.

In the series Pedagogy, Otherwise—part of a line of inquiry dedicated to Learning, Pedagogies, and Education—I began exploring texts that approached the question with a diverse range of perspectives. I was interested in focusing on those experiences or experiments resulting from communities of practice and communities of struggle, in which learning spaces are informed by a quest for social justice or ecological activism, with an equal attention on theories, praxis, and aesthetic processes.

Artists are indeed involved in this wider movement of reclaiming learning, and are engaging more explicitly with the inherently transformative and pedagogical elements of art.

The notion of an “otherwise” signaled a shared criticality towards the neoliberal, western-centric, colonial rationale behind education systems. But it also recalls the changing, historical, and context-based nature of “radical pedagogy” in challenging existing paradigms.

After commissioning the pieces, I asked other contributors involved in the struggle to reclaim learning, to participate in a “round table” and engage in a conversation with those initial texts. I urged them to respond by focusing on their methodologies, tools, stories, places, and languages, and to write from their own, often emergent, pedagogical, ecological, and ontological perspectives.

We share the hope that affirming the different ways of being and knowing can bring different ways of relating. Otherwise.

RESPONSES

Gerardo López Amaro

Pedagogies of r-existence

[…] to exist is to resist. The “rivers” that exist, resist, as do the “mountains,” “seeds,” “land,” or “people.” All of them, “equivocal translations” of more complex sentient entities in other cosmovisions, all of them condemned to be sacrificed in the altar of development and economic growth. For this reason, the defense of life must be at the center of radical pedagogical practices. But resistance is not our main mission. We came here to celebrate life and the beauty, joy, and pain of her ineffable connections. Relational worlds cannot only resist, they must r-exist.

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Jesal Kapadia

She has no land but she keeps sheep.

White like a fox, cunning like a dove. Rearranging, reordering, we feel like we’re in a dream. Looking for the roots of language before it is born on the tip of the tongue, and clearing the space for that waiting, hearing. Between bursts of laughter. Finding resonance.

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Chris Jones

What Might Also Be A Not: Some Informal Notes on "Radical Pedagogy is NOT"

It’s always great to start with the negative. “Radical Pedagogy is NOT” delves into places that may be uncomfortable because there is much collective learning to still be done and because “learning is painful.” So how might we go deeper into closer dynamics within the collectivities we make?

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Kelly Teamey & Udi Mandel

Emergent Learning-in-Solidarity

As we have found in many places of learning we have visited around the world, to re-imagine higher education invariably involves a different kind of relationship between learners, co-learners, and their contexts. Re-learning to be together and the meaning of togetherness, where openness, trust, and care form a foundation and a basis from which to practice inquiry-in-solidarity. In doing so, we are engaging with a politics of care and attempting to reweave relational fabrics that have been rendered too fragile through so many institutions of modernity, including educational institutions.

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Manish Jain

Radical Pedagogies as Living Experiments and Messy Affairs

At Swaraj University, we try to support a radical pedagogy of slowing down, scaling down and unplugging in the spirit of a pause. These notions appear to be ridiculous paradoxes in the modern world which stresses urgency, speed, scaling up, and non-stop technological communication. We have found pedagogies of techno-fasting and collective silence to be powerful tools for a deep kind of unraveling and opening ourselves to new explorations as they help us reclaim different notions of time and place.

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Sarah Amsler

Learning Hope and Assembling sKin

Learning against-beyond hegemony, to me, feels like falling in love. I know it’s happening when my heart beats faster and something in my centre overturns. Making connections, dissolving separations, is learning. So, too, is tending the wounds created when the skin holding one body (of atoms and histories and soul; of knowledge) stretches and tears in order to receive and be refigured by another. So, too, is refiguring reality when we reassemble bodies and lives into no-longer-that and more-than-this and what-might-become. Learning is kinship and promise, and life and death.

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