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UNESCO CO-CHAIRS TANDON & HALL REFLECT ON ARNA 2017 CARTAGENA CONFERNCE

posted Sep 12, 2017, 3:30 PM by Joe Shosh

Cartagena 2017: Mecca of Participatory Action Research?

June 23, 2017 by 

Both of us made a pilgrimage to Cartagena for the Action Research of the America’s conference and the First Global Assembly of Knowledge Democracy, June 12-17, 2017. For Budd it was a third visit to Cartagena having been there for Orlando Fals Borda’s first time 1977. The 1977 event was billed as the first international conference on ‘investigacion y accion’. The ‘investigacion y accion’ that Fals Borda was speaking off was quite different from the action research traditions that were more common in organizational change discourses of the day. Cartagena had been chosen because it was on the Atlantic coast of Colombia near where Orlando had carried out his revolutionary study with the Afro-Colombian people. This study was published in a book where one side of the page were the oral traditions of the Afro Colombians and the other side a more academic portrayal of history of the region. In 1977, Budd shared ideas that had been developed in Tanzania in the early 1970s where the concept of ‘participatory research’ first emerged. The 1977 event was small with about 125 participants. The central debate arose between activist scholars on the left who were informed by Marxist philosophy with its emphasis on the role of vanguard intellectuals in political change and the ideas that Orlando was putting forward of organizing around a process of knowledge construction from the bottom up. He called his approach ‘science of the common person’. The reality was that in Latin America of the late 1970s nearly every country had undergone a military coup d’état and the vanguard parties were on the run. Budd recalls that the proponents of the bottom-up investigacion y accion process felt that they had gained the upper hand in the debates. The proof could be seen in the remainder of the 1970s and throughout the 80s when ‘investigacion y accion participativa’ (which became participatory action research or PAR) and popular education became the foundational approaches to organizing throughout Latin America. Budd did not recall a single woman speaking from the front of the rooms.

Both Rajesh and Budd took part in the 1997 World Assembly of Participatory Action Research again organized by Orlando Fals Borda. 1997 was perhaps the

largest gathering ever of action researchers, participatory or community-based researchers, campesinos, indigenous knowledge keepers, afrodescendants, students and civil society. 1997 felt like a popular movement with demonstrations, performance art, theatre, women’s defiance and tributes to those who were being killed by government forces for siding with the militants in the mountains. Flavoured by heavyweight progressive intellectuals such as Anibal Quijano, James Petras, Eduardo Galeano, Emmanuel Wallerstein and Agnes Heller, the 1997 conference was a chaotic, hopeful, celebratory and defiant stew that said that instrumentalism and positivism had been overtaken by the liberatory intensions of hope.

The third Cartagena conference of June 12-17, 2017 was the brainchild of the relatively new Action Research Network of the Americas, a network founded in August 2012, by Lonnie Rowell, Joseph Shosh, Margaret Riel, Eduardo Flores, and Cathy Bruce of the USA. The conference in Cartagena was the 5th ARNA conference. Cartagena was chosen as the venue as an acknowledgement of the contributions of Orlando Fals Borda who passed away in 2008 and as a celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the first Cartagena conference in 1977. The ARNA2017 conference included a day devoted to what was called the First Global Assembly of Knowledge Democracy. Lonnie Rowell, Joseph Shosh and Doris Santos from the National University of Colombia in Bogota were the key organisers of the events. In addition, Doris organised a pre-conference workshop in Bogota that Rajesh contributed to as well as several oportunities to pay tribute to Orlando Fals Borda who had lived and worked in Bogota. Doris Santos provides the specific context for the 2017 Cartagena meeting,

“These are certainly exciting and challenging times for academic citizens in Colombia. Many of us have made the decision to support the very fragile peace process that has just started. This decision implies, among other challenges, to help to reconstruct the relationships and collaborations in our society, starting with our own within the universities (between faculty members, between faculties), while making sense of those with the communities involved in the process. This is a new start for us academics as part of a new upcoming society. Hierarchical relationships inside and outside universities derived from traditional ways of understanding who ‘owns’ and/or ‘validates’ knowledge in society are challenged by new citizenships under construction. Collective reflections upon new political scenarios in the world and the exchange of local experiences of collaborations are really meaningful for us”.  

There were around 600 participants including academics from the US and Colombia. Many more women present than in either 1977 or 1997, but fewer non-academics, civil society folks or social movement activists. Far too many of the keynote speakers were older males (including Budd and Rajesh!). Many of the best known popular educators and participatory researchers from the rich history of this tradition in Latin America were present such as Oscar Jara of Peru and Costa Rica, Felix Cadena of Mexico, Marco Raul Mejia of Colombia, Rosa Zuniga of Mexico, and Carlos Rodrigues Brandao of Brazil. There were fewer people from outside the Americas (only two Canadians) which makes sense given that the organizers were the Action Research Network of the Americas. With the exception of a talk by Alf Casiani, a leader of the AfroColombian movement on knowledge and exclusion and a workshop organised by Zoraida Mendiwelso-Bendek, Marjorie Mayo and Rajesh on the potential of participatory research as a contribution to the transition to peace in Colombia after 52 years of war, there were fewer bursts of new energy than might have been hoped for.

Boaventura de Sousa Santos, from Portugal was the best known academic present. His work on epistemologies of the global south, on the effects of epistemicide and on the potential of a university of social movements was magnetic. He drew crowds of students and admirers everywhere he appeared. He was the keynote speaker on the day of the Global Assembly of Knowledge Democracy. His opening remarks on the Global Assembly were sobering. Given the missing persons from the social movements, from the political and social justice frontlines, from the Indigenous communities, this event could not be called the first Global Assembly on Knowledge Democracy. It could be called a planning event, a first step towards something more inclusive. He said that in matters of epistemicide we were living in the contradiction of seeing something new, but recreating the continued colonialisation of knowledge. He said that Friere and Fals Borda has been gifted readers of their times and that their ideas on liberatory education and participatory action research had been right to their times. But we live in a darker, more complex time, a time where knowledge and power are further fragmented by location, identity, culture, sexuality, gender, ability, spirituality and more. We need, he said, a theory and a practice that recognises and supports an ecology of knowledges, that is located outside the academy as well as inside and can confront the neoliberal structure directly. He called for a reclamation and revitalisation of popular education.

In both 1977 and 1997, music and dance were woven into the fabric of the conferences. 2017 offered us much music including a haunting song, a ‘message to colombia’ written by Orlando. But the music and dance was somehow structured into the introductory moments and the closing moments, a much more Euroamerican practice than an African or Latin American practice.

But both Rajesh and Budd came away with a reminder of the deep resevoir of intellectual and practical experience that can be found in Latin America. We came away with renewed evidence that the passion for this work in Latin America persists, that popular education is alive & well, that younger women academics are eager; that university leadership is thinking about engaging with post-conflict peace process. It was a fine return to a place with much meaning for us and a fitting spot for our contemporary avatars as UNESCO co-chairs to spend some time.

Our final note is about Cartagena, the town. It is no longer a sleepy Caribbean destination but is a booming tourist hot spot with a dynamic nightlife, a totally renovated historic city centre surrounded by high-rise residences overlooking the sea from every angle.

Rajesh Tandon and Budd Hall

http://pria.org/unesco/?p=1777


What can action research and transdisciplinarity learn from each other?

posted Sep 5, 2017, 7:01 AM by Joe Shosh

I would be grateful if you would let your members know about this great new blog post by Danilo Streck: What can action research and transdisciplinarity learn from each other? https://i2insights.org/2017/08/29/action-research-and-transdisciplinarity/

 

Comments about this blog post are welcome.

 

The Integration and Implementation Insights blog (http://I2Insights.org) also welcomes contributions by other action researchers interested in sharing concepts and methods relevant to research integration and implementation. Contact Gabriele.Bammer@anu.edu.au.

 

Thanks and best wishes

Gabriele

=================================================== 
Professor Gabriele Bammer
National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health 
Research School of Population Health 
ANU College of Health and Medicine
The Australian National University 
62 Mills Road
Acton ACT 2601

Theme leader, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC), University of Maryland

ANU Public Policy Fellow

+61 2 6125 0716
Gabriele.Bammer@anu.edu.au
@GabrieleBammer 
http://i2s.anu.edu.au
http://I2Insights.org

CRICOS Provider # 00120C 

Intercultural Dialogue Gathering

posted Jun 27, 2017, 9:11 AM by Lonnie Rowell

Why do we need an intercultural dialogue in this day and age?

 

In the specific context of Abya-Yala, Latin America and the Caribbean, in the last three decades, nation states such as Brazil, Mexico, Venezuela and Colombia have declared themselves multicultural and multiethnic. In Bolivia and Ecuador, state narratives have even borrowed concepts from native languages such as Suma Qamaña and Sumak Kawsay respectively to think about the future of their citizens. The incongruities between these narratives (constitutions, international treaties, museographic projects) and the urgent demands of indigenous, mestizo, Afro-Latin American, Caribbean and peasant communities have been pointed out from various disciplines (LF Restrepo 2014, A. Muyolema 2015, P. Altmann 2016).

Our congress, therefore, is an invitation to question the culturalist and academic views that leave out the political demands of the social actors. To do this, we call on the panelists to weave art, research, popular action and spirituality. In this sense, the word "culture" is only a moment of this dialogue, because its Latin root colēre (cultivar) is also the root of words such as colonization and agriculture, which have caused misunderstandings on ancestral territories (J. Estermann 2015). Thus, although Spanish, French and Portuguese are now lingua francas in Latin America, we are aware of the need to explore Amerindian languages ​​and expressions where written culture has left its hegemonic place to be correlated with readings, oralitegraphs (M. Rocha 2017) and various oralitures, in the search for new terms for the dialogue between different ways of understanding "culture", education and, of course, life.

THEMES AND STRANDS

1) Experiences of intercultural dialogue: actions, methodologies, and proposals.

2) Ancestral, Afro-Latin American, and Afro-Caribbean knowledges: revitalization and exchange.

3) Education, film, and literature in indigenous, creole, and raizal languages.

4) Multiversities, pluriverses, and other ways of knowing.

5) Libraries. Reading, writing, orality and orality from Abya-Yala.

6) Non-alphabetic cultural expressions (painting, sculpture, ceramics, textiles, music, photography).

7) Strategies on communication by local communities and social movements (radio, YouTube, web).

8) Participatory research, art, and literatures of action.

9) Communication and education on gender.

10) Human rights and interculturality. Territory, forced displacement, and recovery of memory.

11) State policies and minority rights in zones of cultural contact.

12) Education management from an intercultural perspective: organizations and school systems.

 

Registration: http://dialogointercultural.unimagdalena.edu.co/

Latin American Society of Intercultural Studies: http://www.soleintercultural.com

 

CONFERENCE 

IMPORTANT DATES II SoLEI CONGRESS

· March 21 to October 21, 2017: Call for papers, panels, performances, projections

· October 21, 2017: Submission of abstract/proposal DEADLINE

· October 21 to November 21, 2017: Selection process

· November 21, 2017: Formal confirmation of selected proposals

· December 15, 2017: Last day of early conference registration

· February 1, 2018: Last day of conference registration

 

Applications Now Being Accepted for Flores Scholarship

posted Mar 19, 2017, 10:23 AM by Joe Shosh   [ updated Apr 12, 2017, 12:39 PM by Rich McPherson ]


Action researchers in need of financial assistance to attend the 2017 ARNA Conference in Cartagena, Colombia are encouraged to apply for financial support from the Eduardo Flores-Kastanis Scholarship Fund. Applicants with a strong interest in action research in Mexico and South America and who have a career or aspirations involving action research within the region are especially encouraged to apply.

 

Preference is given to applicants who have been ARNA members in previous years, who have demonstrated a history of commitment and impact in action research, and who work with marginalized populations or in particularly challenging research contexts.

 

Eduardo Flores-Kastanis was a faculty member in the Graduate School of Education of Tecnológico de Monterey from 1985-2011 and served as Professor at Universidad Autonomo de Chihuahua until his untimely death from cancer in May of 2013.

 

Applications and more information are available at http://arnawebsite.org/eduardo-flores-kastanis-scholarship/

 

 

En necesidad de asistencia financiera para asistir a la Conferencia ARNA 2017 en Cartagena, se anima a los investigadores de Acción de América Latina para solicitar el apoyo financiero del Fondo de Becas de Eduardo Flores- Kastanis . Los solicitantes que tengan un fuerte interés en la investigación-acción en México y América del Sur y que tienen se les anima una carrera o aspiraciones que involucran la investigación-acción dentro de la región para aplicar.

Se da preferencia a los solicitantes que hayan sido miembros ARNA en años anteriores, que han demostrado una historia de compromiso y el impacto en la investigación-acción , y que trabajan con poblaciones marginadas o en contextos de investigación particularmente difíciles.

 

Eduardo Flores- Kastanis era un miembro de la facultad en la Escuela de Graduados en Educación del Tecnológico de Monterrey desde 1985 hasta 2011 y se desempeñó como profesor en la Universidad Autónomo de Chihuahua hasta su prematura muerte por cáncer en mayo del 2013 .

 

Las solicitudes y más información están disponibles en http://arnawebsite.org/eduardo-flores-kastanis-scholarship/

Global crisis engages universities and community partners

posted Feb 6, 2017, 10:31 AM by Joe Shosh   [ updated Feb 6, 2017, 10:37 AM ]

NEWS RELEASE Feb 6, 2017 21:00 GMT

Global crisis engages universities and community partners
Big Tent Consortium issues call to action to partners worldwide

The Big Tent Consortium, a global network of universities and their community partners
today issued a call to action to its members to oppose the Jan. 27 US travel ban, join with
other worldwide protests, and create spaces for dialogue within universities and
communities everywhere. The call was part of a Consortium statement that responds to the
US ban targeting citizens from seven predominantly Muslim countries and which provides
the latest evidence of growing Islamophobia and exclusionary trends around the world.
The Big Tent Consortium is an affiliation of international higher education associations and
networks who focus on issues of community-university, civic and public engagement as well
as the strengthening of social responsibility in higher education. It encompasses more than
6,000 universities and civil society organizations from 121 nations.

“Our group of global community engaged universities, social movements and community
organisations do not typically comment on the executive actions of a single country, but
today we add our voices to the deep and growing concern about the violent assault on the
free flow of people and ideas that the US travel ban represents,” says Budd Hall, Co-Chair of
the UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher
Education at the University of Victoria in Canada and spokesperson for the Consortium.
The statement calls on universities and their community partners to:

    • Distribute the statement widely to raise awareness of the responsibilities of universities
    and communities to take action now on hate and exclusion;
    • Support the thousands of actions in their communities, many led by women around the
    world to combat Islamaphobia and other exclusionary political activities;
    • Create spaces to discuss how to resist and create inclusion, mutual respect and love; and
    • Make use of opportunities in all courses, research, and community gatherings to imagine
    the world we want.

The Big Tent Consortium statement is attached.

For further information:

Budd Hall, UNESCO Co-Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in
Higher Education, and Professor at the University of Victoria, Canada – bhall@uvic.ca,
Phone: 1 250 8850982

Rajesh Tandon, UNESCO Co-Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility
in Higher Education and President of PRIA, New Delhi, India –rajesh.tandon@PRIA.org;
Phone: 91 98105205882

Michael Osborne, Director PASCAL International Observatory and Professor, University of
Glasgow Scotland - michael.Osborne@glasgow.ac.uk, Phone: 441413303414

George Openjuru, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Gulu University Uganda -
george.openjuru@gmail.com, Phone: 256 47132095

To endorse this Big Tent Communique please visit http://unescochair-cbrsr.org 

Sponsors of the Big Tent Statement:
UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher
Education, Talloires Network, Global University Network for Innovation, PRIA Asian
Network, Copernicus European Network, PASCAL International Observatory, PASCAL
International Member Association, International Right Livelihood College Network, Living
Knowledge Network, Asian Pacific University Community Network, Action Research
Network of the Americas, East African Community University Engagement Network, Asia
Engage

Submit your proposal for ARNA 2017! PROPOSALS DUE 13 FEBRUARY 2017!

posted Jan 17, 2017, 6:44 AM by Rich McPherson   [ updated Jan 20, 2017, 11:00 AM ]

Join us this June (12th - 16th) in Cartagena, Colombia for ARNA's 5th Annual Conference and 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy. This is an extremely exciting time for all of ARNA and we hope that you will be able to join us in this journey. All conference information can be found on the official conference website: http://www.arna2017.unal.edu.co/1/ . (Options to choose your language are on the top right of the page). 


The CALL FOR PROPOSALS deadline is February 13, 2017, so please be sure to get those in: http://www.arna2017.unal.edu.co/1/call-for-proposals/

And if you have not yet checked out the very new ARNA website, please do and let us know what you think! www.arnawebsite.org

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you in Cartagena this June!

- ARNA

International Handbook of Action Research Now Available

posted Nov 19, 2016, 12:31 PM by Lonnie Rowell   [ updated Nov 19, 2016, 12:38 PM ]

We are pleased to announce that the Palgrave International Handbook of Action Research, edited by ARNA's Lonnie Rowell, Cathy Bruce, Joe Shosh, and Margaret Riel is now available for purchase. The Handbook offers a vivid portrait of both theoretical perspectives and practical action research activity and related benefits around the globe, while attending to the cultural, political, social, historical and ecological contexts that localize, shape and characterize action research. Consisting of teachers, youth workers, counselors, nurses, community developers, artists, ecologists, farmers, settlement-dwellers, students, professors and intellectual-activists on every continent and at every edge of the globe, the movement sustained and inspired by this community was born of the efforts of intellectual-activists in the mid-twentieth century specifically: Orlando Fals Borda, Paulo Freire, Myles Horton, and Kurt Lewin. Cross-national issues of networking, as well as the challenges, tensions, and issues associated with the transformative power of action research are explored from multiple perspectives providing unique contributions to our understanding of what it means to do action research and to be an action researcher. This handbook also examines prospects for a global action research agenda and maps out perspectives for readers to consider as they embark on new projects.

Here is the link to Handbook review and ordering: http://www.palgrave.com/us/book/9781137441089

The editors also have established a website for the Handbook and invite interested folks to visit this site: https://inthandbookactionresearch.wordpress.com/

A virtual Book Launch Celebration will be held two times on Thursday, December 1. For further information about the Book Launch contact Editors' Assistant Amy Liechty at amy.liechty@gmail.com. For other questions about the Handbook please contact Lead Editor Lonnie Rowell at lrowell8881@gmail.com


ARNA-UNAL 2017 Update

posted Oct 11, 2016, 2:14 PM by Lonnie Rowell   [ updated Oct 11, 2016, 2:16 PM ]

October 11.  San Diego & Bogota.  

Plans for the June 2017 ARNA-UNAL Conference and 1st Global Assembly for Knowledge Democracy in Cartagena, Colombia are moving forward. The 12-person Conference Program Committee, based in Bogota, is finalizing content for the soon-to-be-launched Conference Website, according to Doris Santos, Conference Co-Chair. A website for the Global Assembly, co-chaired by Lonnie Rowell of ARNA and Christine Edwards-Groves of the P.E.P. Network, already has been launched: https://knowledgedemocracy.org/. Registration for a full schedule of pre-conference events, the conference, and the global assembly will be on the conference website, which planners anticipate will be launched in late-October. A discounted early registration rate will be available as will a student registration amount. The website will be functional in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and French.

Stay tuned for more information soon.

ARNA-UNAL 2017 Website to be Launched Soon

posted Aug 30, 2016, 9:01 AM by Lonnie Rowell

The conference website for the June 2017 gathering in Cartagena, Colombia will be launched in September, according to Conference Co-Chairs Doris Santos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL), and Lonnie Rowell (ARNA). The website will feature regularly updated information about the conference program, on-line registration, and information about accommodations in Cartagena. Details of the Call for Proposals will be included as well as background information on the conference theme, program strands, and keynote speakers. The website will feature the choice of four languages for all conference information: Spanish, English, Portuguese, and French. According to Santos and Rowell, the Conference & Global Assembly Planning Committee is particularly grateful to the technology support group of UNAL, which is responsible for the development of the website. 


La página web del congreso para la reunión de junio de 2017 Cartagena, Colombia se pondrá en marcha en septiembre, según Copresidentes de la Conferencia Doris Santos, Universidad Nacional de Colombia (UNAL), y Lonnie Rowell (ARNA). La página web contará con información actualizada regularmente sobre el registro programa de la conferencia, en línea, e información sobre alojamientos en Cartagena. Los detalles de la convocatoria de propuestas se incluyen, así como información de fondo sobre el tema de la conferencia, capítulos de los programas, y los oradores principales. La página web contará con la elección de los cuatro idiomas para toda la información de la conferencia: Español, Inglés, portugués y francés. De acuerdo con Santos y Rowell, la Conferencia y Comité de Planificación de la Asamblea Mundial es particularmente agradecido al grupo técnico de la UNAL, que es responsable del desarrollo de la página web.

DEADLINE EXTENDED! ARNA 2016 Conference Proceedings to be published in 2017.

posted Aug 12, 2016, 2:25 PM by Linnea Rademaker

The ARNA Conference Proceedings Editorial Team would like to invite and to encourage 2016 conference presenters in Knoxville, Tennessee to submit their presented works in the peer-reviewed ARNA 2016 Conference Proceedings. ARNA Proceedings represent one of our community ways to add our voices to the democratic dialogue. The editorial team welcomes submissions based on the conference types of presentations. Manuscript submissions deadline extended to September 7, 2016 “The written words drive social change for the long haul” (Dunlap, 2007, p. 27). The editorial team looks forward to hearing and working with this year’s conference presenter-authors. For questions and/or additional information please contact Elena Polush, the Lead Editor at elena.polush@gmail.com and/or 515-460-1443.

The ARNA 2014 and 2015 conference proceedings can be accessed at:https://sites.google.com/site/arnaproceedings/home

With much gratitude and appreciation, Rodney Beaulieu, Karina Cruz, Jamie Hills, Elena Polush, Linnea Rademaker, and Nathan Snyder.

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