Reflective discussion & collage-making

Tue, Mar 27, 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM. Mint Lane Involve Centre, Lincoln.

This arts-based focus group is part of my (Hannah’s) research for my master’s dissertation on alternative “counter-neoliberal” higher education. The 2 hour workshop involves reflective discussion and collage-making regarding our perceptions of SSC: who we are, what are we doing here, and how does SSC relate to and within the wider higher education sector.

We will start with some discussions/introductions and then create collages that express/communicate our perceptions of SSC. They can be individual or collaborative and they are yours to keep (although I would love to take a photo of them). For the last half an hour (perhaps longer if there is time) we will talk about our collages, ask one another questions and explore metaphor and meaning. I will provide materials but if you have anything lying around (old newspapers, magazines, prospectuses, textiles, glue, scissors, etc.) which you can bring along please do.

As this is part of my research study I intend to audio-record discussion using my phone. I will also need to collect signed consent forms. I will bring hardcopies of consent forms and study information, but they are also available for you to look over here:

Consent form: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1RKdoBQdolOTr-90Ns1D7rgXSXoUIJdTiQwXZskDikTs/edit?usp=sharing
Information sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1JZroUQCjBoO04jV7g6fn5iP69n6t2qS3/view?usp=sharing
Participant sheet: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1XJqvP_wou-XOniOEAtrat3cPshYDT_tT/view?usp=sharing

Spring term dates and readings

Tuesday 3rd March

Creating curricula for new alternatives: the EarthCare project

In this session I will share about ongoing work in a project called the ‘EarthCARE Global Justice Framework’ and invite reflection on the kinds of alternative world-making that it offers.

https://blogs.ubc.ca/earthcare/

“The EarthCARE Global Justice framework emerged out of an international R&D network of eco-social learning initiatives that seek to integrate ecological, cognitive, affective, relational, and economic (EarthCARE) approaches to local and global justice. This framework is intended to push the boundaries of prevailing approaches to global change and related definitions of ‘global citizenship’, ‘development’, ‘success’, and ‘sustainability’ beyond problematic patters of simplistic analyses and engagements well documented in research (see ‘HEADS UP’ tool). The framework aims to support the design of deep learning processes that can enable CARE-ful learners to think, relate and work together differently to alleviate the effects and transform root causes of unprecedented global challenges.

[…]

“The EarthCARE framework proposes a vision of deep transformational learning processes that combine practical doing (together), the building of trust (in one another), deepening analyses (of self, systems, and social and ecological complexity), and dismantling walls (between peoples, knowledges, and cultures). In this vision, intellectual engagements, the arts, ethics, cosmovisions, the environment, and embodied practices are all understood as important conduits for learning.”

[…]

“The EarthCARE global justice framework is unique as it combines six complementary approaches to justice that encourage ‘alternative approaches to engagement with alternatives’, moving beyond the search for universal models and problem-solving approaches towards preparing people to work together with and through the complexities, uncertainties, paradoxes, and complicities that characterize efforts to address unprecedented global challenges collaboratively today.”

Tuesday 10th April

Emergent Learning

Tuesday 24th April

The Greatest Threat to the Internal Security of the USA: The Black Panther Free Breakfast for Children Program with Sunny Dhillon

This paper seeks to explore the legacy of The Black Panther Party amidst the contemporary, neo-liberal context in which we find ourselves, here in the UK. In particular, the paper will focus on the Panthers’ Free Breakfast for Children Program, and the response in 1969 by the then former FBI Director, J. Edgar Hoover, responding to it as ‘the greatest threat to the internal security of the USA’. The reasons for this response will be examined through a critical theorist lens; namely, Herbert Marcuse. The legacy of this program will be explored, before a group work task to attempt a synthesis with what the Panthers accomplished, and the challenges facing those disenfranchised here in Lincolnshire. It is hoped that the paper rekindles interest in the Panthers, and how they serve as an example of the power of community organisation and activism in the face of state and corporate injustice.

Reading: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/index.htm

This link to to a brief overview of the Panthers on the open access Marxists.org., as well as their Ten-Point Program: https://www.marxists.org/history/usa/workers/black-panthers/1966/10/15.htm.

Free, co-operative higher education

What does it mean to be a co-operative? A look at the inspiration, vision and cooperative structures of the Social Science Centre, with Lucy, Laura, Sarah, Bradley and Joss.
Suggested reading:

The Landlord’s Game & Prosperity

28th November, 7pm at Mint Lane

Next session will be a practical look at land value tax, via The Landlord’s Game & Prosperity, games designed by the feisty and fascinating Elizabeth Magie.

Take a listen to this super-short reading – Kate Raworth giving a brief history of monopoly – read or listen here: https://aeon.co/ideas/monopoly-was-invented-to-demonstrate-the-evils-of-capitalism

Intrigued? More recommended reading:

Kate Raworth – Doughnut Economics (currently available from Lincoln Central Library, who helpfully bought this book for us!) http://www.kateraworth.com/doughnut/

You’ll find a variety of boards and rules for early versions here: http://landlordsgame.info/

Social housing & homelessness in Lincoln

Social Housing and Homelessness in Lincoln (Lucy)

Discussion Notes: 14 November 2017 at Mint Lane, Lincoln

Reading: chapter 1 of Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paolo Friere

Click to access 1335344125freire_pedagogy_of_the_oppresed.pdf

Scholars present: Lucy, Phil, Mike, Louise, Eddie, Laura, Meredith, Sarah, Fen

Lucy offered to guide a facilitated discussion on Homelessness in relation to Chapter 1 of Paulo Friere’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed (1972), and with honesty, explained that when working as a Homelessness Support Worker was often frustrated that the role made her feel part of the problem rather than the solution. Unfortunately, this was because when trying to assist the homeless she also felt like an oppressor through ensuring they ‘complied’ with the defined (and punitive) supported housing rules, thus clearly identifying with Friere’s proposition of false charity. This unlocked a much
wider and diverse dialogue. Some of the key points and perspectives freely presented by scholars are summarised below:

Are we all part of the system anyway?

 We can only be engaged with the reality that we are in… we can work and live within/without the system… we have choice, we are privileged to choose – we acknowledge that others do not have choice
 There is always the possibility of hope… our frustration should not stop our perseverance to change the system
 How we are educated (inculcated) via the system reinforces the system. Ditto being ‘treated’ by the NHS
 There is alternative education – Freire’s purpose in educating peasants (Mike kindly gave useful insight in to Freire’s background and his lifelong determination to educate the oppressed, and ultimately the oppressors).
 The current system constrains our abilities to offer help: employees “up against the wall”, “gagged by funders”
 Oppression of workers in UK – are trade unions part of the problem? Are they bullies?
 Elsewhere (non-UK) appears to have better cooperation between trade unions and employers
 UK is poor relation – lack of labour, skills, worker’s right, zero hours contracts adds to causation of homelessness
 Important to recognise the principle of trade unions – what brings them together = collective purpose
 Identification of Squatting/Travelling movement as real self-organisation/help – creative pooling of resources
 What is the definition of ‘Homelessness’? Does it have meaning? – defined by government (system)
 Homeless/homelessness demonised; abetted by media perception: serves the system’s purpose?
 Statistics report significant rise in homelessness – Universal Credit (UC) will make it worse
 UC is a deliberately designed sanction to create forced employment – made to work therefore conform
 Leads back to Freire’s perspective of Dehumanisation – work is part of the system = prostitution
 Work equals humiliation, and is further entrenched and measured through work based appraisals
 Creating temporary autonomous zones (i.e. alternative free festivals) offers fresh perspectives for the oppressed
 Exilic Communities – mutual aid/liberation. See ‘Living on the Edges of Capitalism’ (Grubacic & O’Hearn, 2016)
 See ‘Riot. Strike. Riot. The New Era of Uprisings’ (Clover, 2016). Undoing professionalism: hierarchical arrogance
 Solution: our refusal to work – value comes from human labour – system requires surplus value to survive
 Growth is essential for the system. When growth can not be met, it begins to asset strip, moves production out
 Counteract by right to strike – withdrawal of labour; system would react by enforcing war to recreate status quo
 We need to make a leap of faith. Consider occupation and cooperation to find alternative solutions
 Work with the system to influence new housing projects which do not put property in landlord ownership
 Better tenancy rights. More social housing. There should not be limitations who can access housing
 Housing not allocated through the lens of the deserving and undeserving. ‘Ownership’ should be communal
 Can we occupy the commons? There are alternative ways of living/being. Home ownership creates divisions
 Follow Freire’s proposition – strive to make a difference through educating and learning – seek objectivity
 Who is really homeless? Should we give money to the homeless/beggars? Opinions divided

 

Notes by Fen

Reading: Community Perception

OBrien-Wilson-2011-Community-Perception-The-ability-to-assess-the-safety-of-unfamiliar-neighborhoods-and-respond-adaptively

Here’s the reading for our next session in our new course on Housing & the Built Environment: Building Pro-sociality, with David McAleavey and Karolina Szynalska. 7pm at Mint Lane.