Scielo RSS <![CDATA[Education as Change]]> vol. 22 num. 2 lang. <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Learning from, in, and with independent community and activist archives: The past in our present and future</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>The making of a colonial archive: The Royal Commission on the Status of Women</b>]]> The Royal Commission on the Status of Women in Canada (RCSW), embedded in liberal hegemonic feminist ideology, is largely the landscape that influenced and continues to influence the simultaneous politicising and depoliticisation of the mainstream women's movement in Canada since the 1970s. The testimonies and recommendations of the RCSW predominately represented the needs and voices of white, heterosexual, Anglophone and Francophone, able-bodied, middle-class women. Using an intersectional critical race feminist framework, this article analyses the "making" of RCSW "against the grain" in relation to discourses of nation-building and racialisation. Drawing on extensive historical archival data and relevant in-depth expert interviews, I argue that the RCSW as a colonial archive furthered nation-building projects while crystallising Indigenous women and women of colour as the Other. The article illustrates how the feminist organisation, Vancouver Status of Women, is embedded in the colonial archive of the RCSW, one that reproduced nation-building discourses of essentialism, racialisation, and exclusion. <![CDATA[<b>Feminist activist archives: Towards a living history of the Gender Education Training Network (GETNET)</b>]]> This article engages the dilemmas and challenges of writing histories of the recent past, and of the political agendas of intervening in those histories in the present. This is done through producing an archive of documentation and oral histories of the Gender Education Training Network, GETNET. GETNET was a feminist political education organisation formed in South Africa in the 1990s that is best known for creating spaces of thinking and learning to strengthen action and intervention at numerous levels from 1992 to 2014. This article portrays the history and pedagogy as well as groundbreaking work of GETNET-the first gender training organisation in South Africa that attempted to make real the gains made on paper by challenging gender dynamics and institutionalised sexism in post-apartheid South Africa. It draws on the literature of activist archiving and feminist methodologies of intergenerational dialogue, aiming to (a) share some of the most radical and relevant work done in the decade after 1994 by anti-apartheid feminist activists developing what they called indigenous and regional perspectives, materials, and methodologies to expose and shift gender dynamics, and (b) to spark ideas and conversations about ways of producing activist archives that are accountable to both movements and to the future. <![CDATA[<b>The Westbury community archive: Claiming the past, defining the present towards a better future</b>]]> This article looks at the process of compiling a community archive in Westbury, Johannesburg. The township is located alongside the better known Sophiatown. Its history provides an insight into the experiences of the working class in the city since the establishment of Johannesburg more than a 100 years ago. The motivation for this archive comes from the experiences of activists in dealing with social and economic challenges that this community continues to face, and the connection with past activism through the work of community activists like Florrie Daniels. Daniels kept meticulous records of community organisations she helped to establish around early childhood development, preventative healthcare, poverty alleviation, housing, sport, youth and women's organisations, as well as political and civic movements from the 1960s onwards. Much of what is contained in the Florrie Daniels collection is associated with cooperative grassroots activity. Her collection offers a perspective that includes records of working-class solidarity around regional and national social and political struggles. It forms the basis of further accumulation of materials to incorporate into a community archive. The idea of the archive has encouraged dialogue between veteran activists, organisations that operate in the area and education institutions that resulted in collaborative approaches in its construction. <![CDATA[<b>Building workers' education in the context of the struggle against racial capitalism: The role of labour support organisations</b>]]> In South Africa, with few exceptions, scholarship on the modern labour movement which emerged after the Durban strikes of 1973 tends to focus on trade unions that constituted the labour movement, strikes, collective bargaining, and workplace changes. While all these topics covered by labour scholars are of great importance, there is less emphasis on the role played by labour support organisations (LSOs) which, in some cases, predate the formation of the major trade unions. Based on an analysis of historical writings, some archival and internet sources, this article critically discusses the contribution of LSOs and their use of workers' education to build and strengthen trade unions, which became one of the critical forces in the struggles against racial capitalism in the 1980s. In particular, it critically examines the work of the Urban Training Project (UTP) and the South African Committee for Higher Education (SACHED) workers' education programmes as a contribution to building the labour movement. The relationship between trade unions which had elaborated structures of accountability and LSOs which were staffed by a relatively small layer of activists also led to debates about accountability and mandates. <![CDATA[<b>The Bedoun Archive: A public archive created for the northern tribes Bedouin of Kuwait</b>]]> This article describes the creation of the Bedoun Archive at the Australian Data Archive, managed by the Australian National University. The Bedoun are a Bedouin minority comprising stateless members of the main tribes of Kuwait. They have been subjected to "Othering" in scholarly literature, indicative of both Orientalism and neo-Orientalism, approaches that have contributed to their oppression by the state and omission from the official histories of Kuwait and the academic literature. The theory and methodology behind the creation of the Bedoun Archive, based on the principles of humanistic sociology and collaborative research with Indigenous Peoples, are discussed. The archive provides safe storage for data analysed in the project, which can be used by others in future. This article contributes to improving understanding of the impact of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism on perceptions of the people and history of the Middle East in general, and the Arabian Gulf and Kuwait in particular. It also contributes new knowledge regarding the complex situation currently faced by the Bedoun, the role of intellectuals in the Arab Spring social movement and subsequently, their contribution to developing formal systems of knowledge about their own culture. <![CDATA[<b>We shall fight, we shall win: An activist history of mass education in India</b>]]> Social movements for public education challenge neoliberal claims that there is no alternative to the market-to the inevitability of the privatisation of education. This article analyses the ways in which education activists in India deploy critical histories in their struggles for a public and common school system. It is empirically grounded in a critical analysis of a 2016 activist documentary film called We Shall Fight, We Shall Win. The film was produced by a grassroots activist coalition called the All India Forum for the Right to Education (AIFRTE) as part of their ongoing struggles against the commercialisation and communalisation of education. The film provides a rare opportunity to explore different kinds of historical knowledge produced in collective struggles for equity and social justice in India. In particular, this analysis examines the ways in which activists link the past and the present to challenge and decentre privatised narratives of education and development. In doing so, this research offers situated insights into the critical histories that inspire, sustain and co-construct one site of ongoing collective struggle for public education in India. <![CDATA[<b>The discourse of the New Unity Movement: Recalling progressive voice</b>]]> This paper provides insight into how the discourse of the New Unity Movement (NUM) can potentially contribute to educational development in the context of South Africa's social inequality. It describes the political lens of the NUM and how its discourse countered the oppressive forces of a capitalist-apartheid system, in a struggle for an alternative world order. NUM's discourse is posited as a progressive voice whose educational analysis and sound pedagogic principles could be recalled towards transforming education in South Africa today. Critical discourse analysis (CDA) is applied to recontextualise the societal role of teachers and the role of critique in what Fairclough (2010) describes as evaluating society and possible ways to change it. The analysis of the NUM's writing also draws on Gramsci's (1971) concept of hegemony that enables further insight into cultivating an educational philosophy that is emancipatory. <![CDATA[<b>Activist archives and feminist fragments: Claiming space in the archive for the voices of Pacific women and girls</b>]]> The voices of Pacific women and girls have too often been excluded from Fiji's archival history. However, alternative understandings of history, stories that defy and blur accepted polarities and reflect the knowledge and experiences of women and girls, have always co-existed. This article attempts to address the lacuna of Pacific women in the archive by claiming space for women's voices, and contributing herstories which record and are inspired by Fiji women's feminist activism. We offer three stories from women whose activism seeks to reveal and challenge dominant historical narratives in Fiji. Their stories celebrate Fiji's communities as historically and inextricably interwoven, and encourage a renewed sense of belonging to one another. These examples of feminist storytelling as activism emerge from women's complex and intersecting identities, and from an understanding that oppressions overlap and interconnect. Activist work therefore needs to occur in a variety of spaces and forms, working relationally across marginalised communities and stories, in order to challenge exclusionary understandings, and to build peace. The contribution of alternative stories of practice is a call for the inclusion of diverse voices: we seek to offer feminist, community-centred, and practice-based knowledge from Fiji to the archives. <![CDATA[<b>Debates on memory politics and counter-memory practices in South Africa in the 1990s</b>]]> Memory politics are often regarded as the "soft" issues contested in the aftermath of political and social upheaval. Yet critical public debates on memory, justice, impunity and reconciliation in South Africa prompted by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) process suggest otherwise. I offer a partial review of some of the key themes and critical debates on justice, reconciliation and memory in the 1990s, followed by a discussion of the spatial practices of the Direct Action Centre for Peace and Memory (DACPM) whose multilayered social pedagogy and activist repertoire of the transitional period challenged the terms of the political transition and the scope of the TRC. The debates on the TRC and the practices of the DACPM constitute but a glimpse into the significance of memory-work for now forgotten terrains of civil activist intervention, contestation and practice.