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Paulo Freire

The Global Legacy


Edited By Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley

This collection is the first book devoted to Paulo Freire’s ongoing global legacy to provide an analysis of the continuing relevance and significance of Freire’s work and the impact of his global legacy. The book contains essays by some of the world’s foremost Freire scholars – McLaren, Darder, Roberts, and others – as well as chapters by scholars and activists, including the Maori scholars Graham Hingangaroa Smith and Russell Bishop, who detail their work with the indigenous people of Aotearoa-New Zealand. The book contains a foreword by Nita Freire as well as chapters from scholars around the world including Latin America, Asia, the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia. With a challenging introduction from the editors, Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley, this much-awaited addition to the Freire archive is highly recommended reading for all students and scholars interested in Freire, global emancipatory politics, and the question of social justice in education.
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Chapter Sixteen: Shattering Silence in Kinshasa—Reading the World With Freire Under the Mango Tree



Shattering Silence in Kinshasa—Reading the World With Freire Under the Mango Tree


It could be said that Africa invented Man, that the Semites invented God and that Europe invented the world.

(MAZRUI, 1986, p. 23)

The more historically anesthetized [we are,]…the less future we have.

(FREIRE, 1997, p. 101)


Shattering Silence

When writing his book Cultural Action for Freedom, Paulo Freire (1972a) noted that masses are educated within and through a culture of silence that not only prevents them from true, i.e., transformative, learning but also prohibits them from creatively taking part in the transformation of their own society and therefore prohibits them from being (p. 30). The following reflections and introspections seek to contextualise this process and to show aspects of certain mechanisms of silencing in some of the schools of Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), drawing also on aspects of post-colonial education and language policies and their domesticating impact. “Shattering Silence,” in this context, refers to the ← 247 | 248 → notion that submissive silence is “shattering” and devastating, while at the same time alluding to the author’s intention to also indicate possibilities and sketches of transformation or transformative praxis, in order to continue a discourse of hope, enriched by “knowledge…born out of a practice that must be illuminated by theory in a permanent and...

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