School of Education

Webinar Explores Translocal Social Movement Learning


The School of Education hosted a webinar by Professor Jonathan Langdon of St Francis Xavier University, Canada on Translocal social movement learning: movements learning from movements in non-hierarchical ways. The webinar formed part of Langdon’s visit to UKZN and was supported by the National Research Foundation.

He also looked at snapshots of the non-hierarchical learning of COVID-19 shared meetings and solidarity organizing around the Songor salt lagoon take-over as well as the arrest and assassination of Abahlali members.

‘In response to the multiple crises that face our world today, there seems to be pressure to look to transnational government efforts, or to transnational movements to provide the necessary breadth of perspective to tackle these crises,’ he said. Instead, Langdon advocates for trans-local connections between movements grounded in local struggles.

He posits that the key to this connection is horizontal, non-hierarchical knowledge exchange – a contrast to the topography of power of transnational efforts that subordinate local movement’s efforts and knowledge. ‘Non-hierarchical reflective earning and action is emerging from this process, representing an important example of Freirean praxis. Formalization of networks is also indicative of increasing recognition of the importance of trans-local connections and learning,’ he said.

Langdon also described the emergence of a trans-local network of local movements based in Ghana, South Africa, Guatemala, and Canada, whose members share and learn from one another, as well as build mutual solidarity.

The webinar was facilitated by School of Education academics Professors Angela James and Vaughn John, and Dr Anne Harley.

The full webinar can be viewed on YouTube here:

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