The neurons - Inspiration from outside

Cells communicate with others and take information from outside. Our neurons got some input from these inspirators.


Paulo Freire and Pedagogy of the oppressed

"Education could be a subversive force", - Paulo Freire

Paulo Freire is a Brasilian educator and philosopher who is a leading advocate of critical pedagogy. He is well know for his influential work, 'Pedagogy of the Oppressed' which is considered one of the fundational texts of the critical pedagogy movement. While working, Freire became aware of the economic, political, and social domination resulting from paternalism. Paternalism leads to a culture of silence, which keeps people from confronting their oppression. He turned this philosophy to pedagogy because “the whole education system was one of the major instruments for the maintenance of this culture of silence.” One of Freire’s central tenets was that “education is freedom” that leads toward true liberation and that the “banking” concept of education - where students are empty vessels to be filled, acts as an instrument of oppression.

His philosophy on education centers on critical consciousness, where the oppressed recognize the causes of their oppression “so that through transformative action they can create a new situation, which makes possible the pursuit of fuller humanity.” He introduced problem-posing education; this type of education, in opposition to banking education, involves “listening, dialogue and action” and is an instrument that leads people to grow their consciousness and to social transformation.

His work, theory and concepts have influenced lots of people to action and social transformation.
If you want to know more:

Saul Alinsky's community organizing model

“My critics are right when they call me an outside agitator. When a community, any kind of community, is hopeless and helpless, it requires somebody from outside to come in and stir things up. That's my job -- to unsettle them, to make them start asking questions, to teach them to stop talking and start acting, because the fat cats in charge never hear with their ears, only through their rears", - Saul Alinsky.

Saul Alinsky began community organising career in the late 1930s. As a part of his field research job as a graduate student in criminology at the University of Chicago he was to develop a juvenile delinquency program in Chicago's "Back of the Yards," neighborhood downwind of the Chicago Stockyards--a foul-smelling and crime-ridden slum. When Alinsky arrived, the Congress of Industrial Organizations was organising the stockyard workers living there. Expanding the CIO model beyond workplace issues, Alinsky organized the Back of the Yards Neighborhood Council (BYNC) from local neighborhood groups, ethnic clubs, union locals, bowling leagues and an American Legion Post. The success of BYNC in getting expanded city services and political power started Alinsky off on a long career of organizing poor urban communities around the country.

His theory said that behind every successful social movement there is a community or a network of communities.These communities don't just happen. They must be organized. Someone has to build strong enough relationships between people so they can support each other through long and sometimes dangerous social change struggles. Or, if the community already exists, someone has to help transform it to support political action. Sometimes that requires reorganizing the community by identifying individuals who can move the community to action.

This process of building a mobilisable community is called "community organizing." It involves "the craft" of building an enduring network of people, who identify with common ideals and who can engage in social action on the basis of those ideals. Community organizing is the process of building power that includes people with a problem in defining their community, defining the problems that they wish to address, the solutions they wish to pursue and the methods they will use to accomplish their solutions. In general, community organizing is the work that occurs in local settings to empower individuals, build relationships and create action for social change.

Visuals by: 
Anna-Lena Schroers