“la pédagogie des opprimé·es” CHAPTERS 3 & 4
I finally finished reading the French version of “la pédagogie des opprimé·es” by FREIRE.
The reading of FRANTZ FANON was a constant interference in the reading of Freire. The second interference was my being a teacher-students educator (what do I do to bring a liberation movement into my teaching action?). And the third interference comes from my personal past: what freedom have I won? what oppressive force have I been a victim of?
Chapter 3 talks about dialogue.
In this chapter, I was surprised to find echoes with the reflection on the clinical practice of professional development by French tradition or the Change Laboratory (see the work of Engstrom, University of Helsinki).
Freire proposes, before starting any form of training, to find, together with the participants, a generating theme that summarizes the area of action on which to build the follow-up of the training intervention. This generating theme is what the people need to identify by themselves. At the same time, it is the area that helps the trainer get in touch with the participants. Opposite to the generating theme is the silence theme, a structure of forced silence where the overwhelming force of extreme situations does not allow us to see beyond and adopt other perspectives. Therefore, the generating themes are the aspects that characterize the participants’ relationship with the world. In the relationship with the world, objective reality is mediated by the aspirations, motives and objectives that make this relationship properly human and, therefore, in the making.
In reading then, I found something important to me: the theme of conscientization — making sense and giving attention to your own action and reflections.
The role of the researcher in this process is questioned: the researcher cannot think for others or without others, but with others. It all happens in the situation, and the researcher’s meaning process helps the participants to emerge from the immersion.
“De l’immersion où ils se trouvaient, ils émergent, en se donnant les moyens de s’insérer dans la réalité qui peu à peu se dévoile » (p. 145)
In the phase of decoding, the real is co-constructed in a cycle of recognition in it. Decoding, therefore, becomes inclusive; that is, it encompasses what is possible, opening to a range of possibilities. This process allows arriving at an unprecedented possible with actions that can be carried out.
After the coding phase and after the intervention team becomes familiar with the richness of the material comes the third phase. It is the thematic research circle. The topic is discussed with the explicit aim of achieving reciprocal freedom.
Chapter 4 IS ABOUT THE THEORY OF ANTI-DIALOGICAL ACTION.
The theme of necrophilia seems recently addressed by other authors from South America: the love of death instead of life.
Freire returns to the reflection on PRAXIS, already addressed in Chapter 1, and to the leadership that must communicate with the mass and not dominate it if it wants to remain in a position of dialogue.
“Cela nous semble aussi évident que de dire qu’on n’apprend pas à nager dans une bibliothèque, mais dans l’eau. Le dialogue avec les masses n’est pas une concession, ni un cadeau, encore moins une tactique à utiliser pour dominer, comme le recours aux slogans. Le dialogue, en tant que rencontre des êtres humains pour la «prononciation» du monde, est une condition fondamentale à leur véritable humanisation » (p. 201)
The myths of domination, with reference to psychoanalysis, make me see the relationship with FANON even more alive. Falling into the trap of the oppressor and introjecting one’s inflicted inferiority: the process of liberation starts with understanding that the necklace on the neck is not a gift from the rich to the poor, but the chain that binds them.
I thank Freire for having given words and thoughts to a difficult process, that towards liberation, whose traps are difficult to unmask. It is not a process that is possible to do alone: when you are immersed, you cannot see or guess anything else. From becoming aware of being oppressed to recognizing oneself as free: becoming aware is a long process to which the oppressed must dedicate themselves; raising awareness is a duty of those who are already free.
“Tout comme l’oppresseur, pour opprimer, a besoin d’une théorie de l’action oppressive, les opprimé·es, pour se libérer, ont aussi besoin d’une théorie de leur action » (p.290).