This event was hosted during the Antiuniversity’s 2021 festival. Working with Gata Negra, we provided a workshop for people to learn and use with the basics of zine-making. They were zines done quickly, and the topic focused on was how we could better build learning spaces.
Hello, we are the Anarchist Pedagogies Network, and we have been working with Gata Negra to bring this zine event to you.
A big part of the reason we wanted to look at zines was because they are such great educational tools, and they’re really effective at taking the place of textbooks.
Textbooks are genuinely a capitalist tool of indoctrination. In many educational systems, textbooks have been used to enforce colonial languages, white supremacy, and both historical and continued invisibility of marginalised people. In addition, they are presented as a source of universal knowledge that must be learned individually. Textbooks are often organised around what is expected from children, adolescents, and adults. This includes what they should learn and how they should learn it, which helps support schools in maintaining systems for both obedience and subjugation.
Textbooks aren’t neutral. They are developed in cultural and economic contexts which promote specific sets of morals values and perspectives about different material. Most publishing houses are organised around making money and promoting specific values. This is largely done by following the mandates of political and religious institutions, but this also allows them to be the arbiters of information. They get to determine what is released to a wider audience and what remains hidden.
So, we should be looking at, like, collective self-made information. To learn is to create, which must be done together. For many educators and facilitators, it can seem difficult to apply anarchist principles in our learning spaces and processes. This is often due to the structural requirements of formal education spaces such as schools and within academia. Today, we have so many sources that allow us to access a variety of perspectives through oral, visual, and written information. This gives us more ability than we’ve ever had before to really organise everything for ourselves.
So, if we create we can definitely liberate. So, as educators, we must aim to create free and accessible learning tools. These might be on paper, or they could be online; they might have words or images or music; they might be made indoors or outdoors; they can take many different forms. We also need to recognise that learning happens everywhere. Most importantly, we have to create learning and spaces for learning in order to liberate ourselves. Our freedom to create new societies really depends upon our decisions to understand that we learn all the time and we learn everywhere. And in making our own textbooks and building our own knowledge, this helps us to expose and dismantle the capitalist and colonialist structures that make curriculum today.
Thank you for listening to our quick little video about textbooks and what we could replace them with. If you would like to contact the Anarchist Pedagogies Network, you can follow us in the following places: You can go to anarchistpedagogies.net, you can email us at email@example.com, or on Facebook and Instagram at anarchapednet. And keep looking out for us in other places. We might pop up somewhere else, too!
Thank you so much, and I hope you have a good time.