The Global Legacy
Edited By Michael A. Peters and Tina Besley
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)
INTRODUCTORY NOTES: SILENCE—READING—MANGO TREES
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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