A report by Sauvé Fellow Semuhi Sinanoglu
The JSF Fellows had a leadership encounter with Associate Professor Aziz Choudry on March 14, and discussed the knowledge creation within social movements, and how to ensure knowledge/experience dissemination across different social movements in the world and accomplish solidarity via horizontal collaboration.
During the Q&A, fellows touched upon the following questions: How do we learn from each other’s mistakes/successes in a constructive way? What is the role of academics to play in this struggle?
Aziz Choudry is Associate Professor and Canada Research Chair in Social Movement Learning and Knowledge Production in the Department of Integrated Studies in Education, McGill University, and Visiting Professor at the Centre for Education Rights and Transformation, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.
An excerpt from his article titled “The Intellectual Labour of Social Movements”:
“Drawing a curtain over the critical histories of people’s struggles in favour of more simplified versions is quite consistent with the kinds of neoliberal tellings of history that privilege individuals’ achievements in place of the rich, nuanced, and often dangerous and difficult stories of the struggles of many ordinary people. (…) We see it in the dominant focus on middle-class male leadership like Gandhi and Nehru in the freedom struggle in India, and the erasure or downplaying of a wide range of popular resistance, including women’s struggles, workers’ strikes and peasant revolts, and revolutionary, anti-imperialist, and sometimes armed movements.”