Activity 3: The radical imagination and explosions of resistance

1 hour 15 minutes


Through this activity, we will create a picture of different forms of resistance across the globe in the post 2000 era. This picture will also show how these different struggles were a direct challenge to the capitalist triumphalism that marked the end of the 20th century and how these struggles also laid the basis for the question: what would it take to win freedom today?


The early years of the 21st century marked anything but the ‘end of history’. From struggles against privatisation, austerity, high university tuition to those directed at dictatorships, ecological crisis, landlessness, sexism; the world in the early 2000s was anything but static. These struggles reinvigorated debates about what it means to talk about social change in today’s world. In this activity, we will use case studies from different struggles across the world to examine the various ways people have resisted injustice and imagined freedom. From these struggles emerge questions about who makes up the social layers for change and what political instruments are suitable for our struggles today. These struggles also bring new ways of doing politics to the fore. Through this activity, we will see how people in South Africa and globally are fighting against various forms of injustices like austerity, authoritarianism, land hunger, inequality and commodification of education, housing and unequal and how their struggles raise important questions about how to win freedom today.

Task 1

The facilitator will introduce the session through a presentation that highlights how those who declared the capitalist idea of freedom as the winning idea soon faced a serious challenge when, in the late 1990s and early 2000s, struggles from below made it clear that ‘another world is possible’. The input will show how an aura of optimism emerged from these struggles and how these struggles raised new (and old) questions about winning freedom today.


Another World is Possible (Bullfrog films) – 03 minutes.

Task 2

You will be divided into 6 groups. Each group will go through a suitcase. In the suitcase are resource packs on different struggle somewhere in the world. As part of the resource packs, we have images, a factsheet or article and makeshift clothing hangers. In your groups, read the contents of the factsheet and prepare to share what you have read by creating a mural of resistance on a big brown paper. You are encouraged to use all the items in your resource pack. The mural is a collective and shared space of creation and reflection, where all the groups will express themselves.

Here are some guiding questions to help you with the task:

  1. What are the people resisting against? What do they identify as the source of their problems (analysis)?
  2. How are they resisting (forms of resistance)?
  3. Who are the people waging the resistance (revolutionary subjects)?
  4. How are they organized? What are the different organizational forms that you can identify? (political instruments)?
  5. What are some of the ways in which your case study invites us to rethink the politics of freedom? (new politics)

Case studies

Task 3

We will end this activity with a plenary discussion through which the facilitator weaves together all our reflections on the mural of resistance and implications for struggle.

Last updated December 15, 2019 6:57 pm