Day Four: Our strategies for winning freedom

About this day

On this day we turn the focus to our own organisations and look at our movements with a critical eye. Most of our movements are geared at fighting injustice and challenging certain aspects of the status-quo. In our political engagement, we often echo what John Holloway calls the “scream”. We scream at the unequal education system that still reproduces the racial, class and geographical inequalities that animated the apartheid system. We say “no” to the conditions of squalor and homelessness that the poor are subjected to. We refuse to allow municipal governments to sacrifice human dignity for the insatiable appetites of property billionaires. We wage a fightback against the “war on womxn’s bodies” and fight for safety of womxn, children and people with disabilities on our trains and in taxis. We echo even louder screams at the state and corporate surveillance of activists. We march, we protest, we do sit-ins against the enclosure of our land and resources by mining companies in collusion with government and traditional authorities. We express this anger, rage and absolute discomfort with the status-quo in our everyday political engagement.

But we are drawn to social movements by much more than just a battle with our present conditions. What fuels our participation in struggles is more than just the misery or our drive to clean up the wreckage. We are enticed by the promise of possibility, of something new. Beyond our frustrations with the present realities, what keeps us as activists, going?

Today we grapple with a question posed by Robin D G Kelley:

“What are today’s activists dreaming about? We know what they are fighting against, but what are they fighting for?”

This question is important because (to borrow Kelley’s words again) our movements are not just about recounting statistics that show how oppressed we still are. They are also “incubators” and generators of new knowledge. Potentially, they are also vehicles that can transport us to another world. How do we unlock this potential?

Objectives for this day:

At the end of this day, participants would have reconnected with their social movements and the conditions that these movements are trying to change. As part of the learning and exchange, participants will also ‘travel’ to a place beyond the wreckage of everyday circumstances and imagine a different society.

Day activity sessions:

This day comprises the following activities:

Activity 12: Strategies for winning freedom: expo

Activity 13: Seeing the world through “the third eye”

Activity 14: How it feels to be free

Last updated December 15, 2019 5:09 pm