Of the Tricontinental
September 2021 marks the centennial of Paulo Freire’s birth, one of the greatest world references in the debate about education. Born in Recife (PE) in 1921, Paulo Freire always saw the role of the community and popular organizations as fundamental in the formation of a critical consciousness that would overcome the domination and dependence of the oppressed.
Thus, as part of the various activities around the centenary of Paulo Freire, the Tricontinental Institute for Social Research, in partnership with the Paulo Freire and Florestan Fernandes Schools, the publishing house Expressão Popular and the Landless Rural Workers Movement (MST), launch the Poster Exhibition “Esperançar, 100 anos de Paulo Freire”, a call for artists, graphic designers and activists to use their creativity to illustrate the many elements behind the thought of the Pernambucanian educator.
The idea is to take advantage of this moment not only to pay tribute to one of the most important thinkers in the world, but to claim and spread his memory, legacy, and the radicality of his reflections, linked to the struggles for liberation and human dignity.
Freire’s legacy goes beyond the Brazilian borders, having influenced, above all, several Latin American countries, such as Chile (where he wrote his most important book, Pedagogy of the Oppressed, and developed adult literacy programs), besides having had contacts with the struggles for liberation in Africa, having visited Zambia, Tanzania, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, Angola, and Cape Verde. The educator even developed adult literacy programs in Guinea-Bissau, Tanzania, and Angola.
In this sense, taking advantage of one of his main thoughts, about the need to develop the critical consciousness of individuals so that they can learn to read the world, nothing is more appropriate than, through art, to strengthen the intellectual and cultural battle in such dark times.
The call to artists “Esperançar, 100 anos de Paulo Freire”, comes on the idea worked by the author about the need to have “hope, but to have hope of the verb to wait (“esperanza and esperar” in Portuguese and Spanish) ; because there are people who have hope of the verb to wait. And hope from the verb to wait is not hope, it is waiting. To hope is to get up, to hope is to go after, to hope is to build, to hope is not to give up! To hope is to carry on, to hope is to join with others to do it differently…”
Therefore, we invite all artists who bring with them the sensibility to look at the world critically, but with hope, so that together we can inspire many other human beings to embark on a profound transformative process.
To help in the creative process, we suggest three possibilities of thematic axes to be worked on in the posters:
1. Popular education and consciousness: the originality of Freirean pedagogy
Why did Freire’s pedagogy revolutionize the way of thinking and building education? Why do his ideas bother the powerful so much? The construction of an education with a deep link to the working class and that aims at its emancipation is one of the great legacies that Freire left us. Reflecting about the depth of his ideas and, more than that, putting them into practice, is one of the central tasks of educators and popular fighters today.
2. Looking ahead to 2021: the actuality of Paulo Freire’s ideas
How does Paulo Freire’s thought help us reflect about the challenges of the world today? In a context of pandemics and economic and political crisis in many nations, Freire’s pedagogy reminds us that only the construction of concrete work with the people and the awakening of their consciousness will make possible a possible horizon for working men and women. It is necessary to move on to action!
3. A pedagogy that changed the world: Freire’s internationalist practice
From Angicos to Africa, from Brazil to the world: international solidarity is one of the principles that Freire carried with him throughout his life. His pedagogy, based on the valorization of the knowledge of each subject and on the knowledge of the reality of each place, found in many countries a fertile ground to germinate and take root. From the liberation struggles in Africa to the universities all over the world, Freire’s ideas have been and continue to be current and necessary in the four corners of the planet.
How to participate
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