joi, 31 decembrie 2009

locul multi ani.


never thought of the taxi drivers as the ones who know shit about what's goin on in the city, but i guess this perspective is also possible. a friend told me that they also have deals with the police, notice the houses that call too many cabs too many times a day and sometimes they give information bout those people- who comes, who goes and so and so. also because they have their own areas, and they are constantly there, constantly seeing shit, and then selling information.

sâmbătă, 26 decembrie 2009

Pedagogy of the oppressed- chapter one part two, excerpts

Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Paulo Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed.

Paulo Freire (1921 - 1997), the Brazilian educationalist, has left a significant mark on thinking about progressive practice. His Pedagogy of the Oppressed is currently one of the most quoted educational texts (especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia). Freire was able to draw upon, and weave together, a number of strands of thinking about educational practice and liberation. Sometimes some rather excessive claims are made for his work e.g. 'the most significant educational thinker of the twentieth century'. He wasn't - John Dewey would probably take that honour - but Freire certainly made a number of important theoretical innovations that have had a considerable impact on the development of educational practice - and on informal education and popular education in particular. (via

(translated by Myra Bergman Ramos - )

Chapter one, part two, excerpts

Any situation in which A objectively exploits B of hinders his and her pursuit of self-affirmation as a responsible person is one of oppression. Such a situation in itself constitutes violence, even when sweetened by false generosity, because it interferes with the individual’s ontological and historical vocation to become more fully human. With the establishment of a relationship of oppression, violence has already begun.

Violence is initiated by those who oppress, who exploit, who fail to recognize others as persons- not by those who are oppressed, exploited and unrecognized. It is not the unloved who initiate disaffection, but those who cannot love because they love only themselves.

For the oppressors, “human beings” refers only to themselves; other people are “things”. For the oppressors, there exists only one right: their right to live in peace, over against the right, not always even recognized, but simply conceded, of the oppressed to survival. And they make this concession only because the existence of the oppressed is necessary to their own existence.

This behavior, this way of understanding the world and people is explained by their existence as a dominant class. Once a situation of violence and oppression has been established, it engenders an entire way of life and behavior for those caught up in it- oppressors and oppressed alike. Both are submerged in this situation, and both bear the marks of oppression.

The oppressor consciousness tends to transform everything surrounding it into n object of its domination. The earth, property, production, the creations of people, people themselves, time- everything is reduced to the status of objects at its disposal.

In their unrestrained eagerness to possess, the oppressors develop the conviction that it is possible for them to transform everything into objects of their purchasing power; hence their strictly materialistic conception of existence. Money is the measure of all things, and profit the primary goal. For the oppressors, what is worthwhile is to have more- always more- even t the cost of the oppressed having less or having nothing. For them, to be is to have and to be the class of the “haves”.

The oppressors do not perceive the monopoly on having more as a privilege which dehumanizes others and themselves. They cannot see that, in the egoistic pursuit of having as a possessing class, they suffocate in their own possessions and no longer are; they merely have. For them, having more is an inalienable right, a right they acquired through their own “effort”, with their “courage to take risks.” If others do not have more, it is because they are incompetent and lazy, and worst of all is their unjustifiable ingratitude towards the “generous gestures” of the dominant class. Precisely because they are “ungrateful” and “envious”, the oppressed are regarded as potential enemies who must be watched.

If the humanization of the oppressed signifies subversion, so also does their freedom; hence the necessity for constant control. And the more the oppressors control the oppressed, the more they change them into apparently inanimate “things”. This tendency of the oppressor consciousness to in-animate everything and everyone it encounters, in its eagerness to possess, unquestionably corresponds with a tendency to sadism.

“The pleasure in complete domination over another person (or other animate creature) is the very essence of the sadistic drive. Another way of formulating the same thought is to say that the aim of sadism is to transform a man into a thing, something animate into something inanimate, since by complete and absolute control the living loses one essential quality of life- freedom.” (Erich Fromm, “The heart of Man”, New York 1966)

Sadistic love is a perverted love- a love of death, not of life. One of the characteristics of the oppressor consciousness and its necrophilic view of the world is thus sadism. As the oppressor consciousness, in order to dominate tries to deter the drive to search, the restlessness and the creative power which characterize life, it kills life.

Given the preceding context, another issue of indubitable importance arises: the fact that certain members of the oppressor class join the oppressed in their struggle for liberation, thus moving from one pole of the contradiction to another. It happens, however, that as they cease to be exploiters or indifferent spectators or simply the heirs of exploitation and move to the side of the exploited, they almost always bring with them the marks of their origin: their prejudices and their deformations, which include a lack of confidence in the people’s ability to think, to want and to know. Accordingly, these adherents to the people’s cause constantly run the risk of falling onto a type of generosity as malefic as that of the oppressors. The generosity of the oppressors is nourished by an unjust order, which must be maintained in order to justify that generosity. Our converts on the other hand, truly desire to transform the unjust order; but because of their background they believe that they must be the executors of the transformation. They talk about the people, but they do not trust them; and trusting the people is indispensable precondition for revolutionary change. A real humanist can be identified more by his trust in the people, which engages him in their struggle, than by a thousand actions in their favor without that trust.

Those who authentically commit themselves to the people must re-examine themselves constantly. This conversion is so radical s not to allow of ambiguous behavior. To affirm this conversion but to consider oneself the proprietor of revolutionary wisdom – which must then be given to (or imposed on ) the people- is to retain the old ways. The convert who approaches the people but feels alarm at each step they take, each doubt they express and each suggestion they offer, and attempts to impose his “status”, remains nostalgic towards his origins.

The peasant begins to get courage to overcome his dependence when he realizes that he is dependent. Until then, he goes along with the boss and says “What can I do? I’m only a peasant.”
When superficially analyzed, this fatalism is sometimes interpreted as a docility that is a trait of national character. Fatalism in the guise of docility is the fruit of an historical and sociological situation, not an essential characteristic of a people’s behavior. It almost always is related to the power of destiny or fate or fortune – inevitable forces – or to a distorted view of God.
Submerged in reality, the oppressed cannot perceive clearly the “order” which serves the interests of the oppressor whose image they have internalized. Chafing under the restrictions of this order, they often manifest a type of horizontal violence, striking out at their own comrades for the pettiest reasons.

“The colonized man will first manifest this aggressiveness which has been deposited in his bones gainst his own people. This is the period when the niggers beat each other up, and the police and magistrates do not know which way to turn when faced with the astonishing waves of crime in North Africa ” (Frantz Fanon- “The wretched of the earth”, New York, 1968)

It is possible that in this behavior they are once more manifesting their duality. Because the oppressor exists within their oppressed comrades, when they attack their comrades they are indirectly ttacking the oppressor as well.

On the other hand, at a certain point in their existential experience the oppressed feel an irresistible attraction towards the oppressors and their way of life. Sharing this way of life becomes an overpowering aspiration. In their alienation, the oppressed want at any cost to resemble the oppressors, to imitate them to follow them. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the middle-class oppressed, who yearn to be equal to the “eminent” men and women of the upper class.

Self- depreciation is another characteristic of the oppressed, which derives from their internalization of the opinion the oppressors hold of them. So often do they hear that they are good for nothing, know nothing and are incapable of learning anything- that they are sick, lazy and unproductive – that in the end they become convinced of their own unfitness.
They call themselves ignorant and say the “professor” is the one who has knowledge and to whom they should listen.

Almost never do they realize that they too “know things” they have learned in their relations with the world and with other women and men. Given the circumstances which have produced their duality, it is only natural to distrust themselves.

They have a diffuse, magical belief in the invulnerability and power of the oppressor. This total emotional dependence can lead the oppressed to what Fromm calls necrophilic behavior: the destruction of life- their own or that of their oppressed fellows.

It is only when the oppressed find the oppressor out and become involved in the organized struggle for their liberation that they begin to believe in themselves. This discovery cannot be purely intellectual but must involve action; nor can it be limited to mere activism, but must include serious reflection; only then will it be a praxis.

vineri, 25 decembrie 2009

Pedagogy of the oppressed- introduction and chapter one part one, excerpts

Perhaps the most influential thinker about education in the late twentieth century, Paulo Freire has been particularly popular with informal educators with his emphasis on dialogue and his concern for the oppressed.

Paulo Freire (1921 - 1997), the Brazilian educationalist, has left a significant mark on thinking about progressive practice. His Pedagogy of the Oppressed is currently one of the most quoted educational texts (especially in Latin America, Africa and Asia). Freire was able to draw upon, and weave together, a number of strands of thinking about educational practice and liberation. Sometimes some rather excessive claims are made for his work e.g. 'the most significant educational thinker of the twentieth century'. He wasn't - John Dewey would probably take that honour - but Freire certainly made a number of important theoretical innovations that have had a considerable impact on the development of educational practice - and on informal education and popular education in particular. In this piece we assess these - and briefly examine some of the critiques that can be made of his work. (via

(translated by Myra Bergman Ramos - )

Intro, excerpts

Fear of freedom, of which its possessor is not necessarily aware, makes him see ghosts.

Men and women rarely admit their fear of freedom openly, however, tending rather to camouflage it – sometimes unconsciously- by presenting themselves as defenders of freedom. They give their doubts nd misgivings an air of profound sobriety, as befitting custodians of freedom. But they confuse freedom with the maintenance of the status quo.

These pages, which introduce the “pedagogy of the oppressed”, result from my observations during 6 years of political exile, observations which have enriched those previously afforded by my educational activities in Brazil.

Chapter one, excerpts

Concern for humanization leads at once to the recognition of dehumanization, not only as an ontological possibility, but s an historical reality. And as an individual perceives the extent of dehumanization, he or she may ask if humanization is a viable possibility. Within history, in concrete, objective contexts, both humanization and dehumanization are possibilities for a person as an uncompleted being conscious of their incompletion.

But while both humanization and dehumanization are real alternatives, only the first is the people’s vocation. This vocation is constantly negated, yet it is affirmed but that very negation.

Dehumanization, which marks not only those whose humanity has been stolen, but also (though in a different way) those who have stolen it, is a distortion of the vocation of becoming more fully human. This distortion occurs within history; but it is not a historical vocation. Indeed, to admit of dehumanization as an historical vocation would lead either to cynicism or total despair. The struggle for humanization, for the emancipation of labor, for the overcoming of alienation, for the affirmation of men and women as persons would be meaningless. This struggle is possible only because dehumanization, although a concrete historical fact, is not a given destiny but the result of an unjust order that engenders violence in the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.

Because it is a distortion of being more fully human, sooner or later being less human leads the oppressed to struggle against those who made them so. In order for this struggle to have meaning, the oppressed must not, in seeking to regain their humanity, (which is a way to create it), become in turn oppressors of the oppressors, which in turn dehumanizes the oppressed.

The oppressors, who oppress, exploit and rape by the virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves.

Any attempt to “soften” the power of the oppressor in deference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifests itself in the form of false generosity.

True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.

This lesson and this apprenticeship must come, however, from the oppressed themselves and from those who are truly solidary with them. They will not gain this liberation by chance, but through the praxis of their quest for it, through their recognition of their necessity to fight for it. And this fight, because of the purpose given it by the oppressed, will actually constitute an act of love opposing the lovelessness which lies at the heart of the oppressors’ violence, lovelessness even when clothed in false generosity.

The fear of freedom, which afflicts the oppressed, a fear which may equally well lead them to desire the role of oppressor or bind them to the role of oppressed, should be examined. One of the basic elements of the relationship between oppressor and oppressed is prescription. Every prescription represents the imposition of one individual’s choice upon another, transforming the consciousness of the person prescribed to into one that conforms with the prescriber’s consciousness. Thus, the behavior of the oppressed is a prescribed behavior, following as it does the guidelines of the oppressor.

The oppressed, having internalized the image of the oppressor and adopted his guidelines are fearful of freedom. Freedom would require them to eject this image and replace it with autonomy and responsibility. Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion.

However, the oppressed, who have adapted to the structure of domination in which they are immersed, and have become resigned to it, are inhibited from waging the struggle for freedom so long as they feel incapable of running the risks it requires. Moreover, their struggle for freedom threatens not only the oppressor, but also their own oppressed comrades who are fearful of still greater repression. When they discover within themselves the yearning to be free, they perceive that this yearning can be transformed into reality only when the same yearning is aroused in their comrades. But while dominated by the fear of freedom they refuse to appeal to others, or to listen to the appeal of others, or even to the appeals of their own conscience. They prefer gregariousness to authentic comradeship; they prefer the security of conformity with their state of unfreedom to the creative communion produced by freedom and even the very pursuit of freedom.

The oppressed suffer from the duality which has established itself in their innermost being. They discover that without freedom they cannot exist authentically. Yet, although they desire authentic existence, they fear it. They are the at one and the same time themselves and the oppressor whose consciousness they have internalized. The conflict lies in the choice between being wholly themselves or being divided; between ejecting the oppressor within or not ejecting them; between human solidarity or alienation; between following prescriptions or having choices; between being spectators or actors; between acting or having the illusion of acting through the action of the oppressors; between speaking out or being silent, castrated in their power to create and re-create, in their power to transform the world.

This book will present some aspects of what the writer has termed the pedagogy of the oppressed, a pedagogy which must be forged with, not for the oppressed (whether individuals or peoples ) in the incessant struggle to regain their humanity.

The central problem is this: how can the oppressed, as divided, unauthentic beings, participate in the developing of their liberation? The pedagogy of the oppressed is an instrument for their critical discovery that both they and their oppressors are manifestations of dehumanization.

Liberation is thus a childbirth, and a painful one. The man or woman who emerges is a new person, viable only as the oppressor-oppressed contradiction is superseded by the humanization of all people. Or to put it another way, the solution of this contradiction is born in the lbor which brings into the world this new being: no longer oppressor, no longer oppressed, but human in the process of achieving freedom.

This solution cannot be achieved in idealistic terms. In order for the oppressed to be able to wage the struggle for their liberation, they must perceive the reality of oppression not as a closed world from which there is no exit, but as a limited situation which they can transform.

joi, 24 decembrie 2009

Christmas, workshops and teachers’ dicks

24th. Got back on the 8th with the whole 15 extra-kilos adventure.

Then had the first ‘what you see and what you hear ’ workshop meeting, last Sunday, on the 13th. Great exercise, and also very interesting to see peoples’ different realities and flashes of life. As kostea told me- and I also was thinkin bout that intuitively, the focus is not on the extraordinary, not on the unusual/ this-would-make-a-good-movie things, but on unfolding and looking at our lives and what are they made of. And another interesting thing- smth that andra said- that at first when thinkin about what was she doing last week, the first thought was: “nothing”. The good old “ce ai mai facut?” “nimic”/”chiar nimic”/”bai, nimic” that I encounter so frequently here. and also, related to what graham said when I told him bout this workshop- it is an alternative to the main media sources of news- the media news that are always, but always, hysterical – whether if it’s good news of bad news, it’s always smth that has to be hysterical- a catastrophe, or a over-enthusiastically attitude towards smth that happened. Shet. And that keeps u constantly over-excited, not bein aware of the things in your life, the actual specific things you have around you, because “they don’t matter”. it’s always something else that matters, and that is not here, but somewhere far away, keepin you miserable, frustrated and helpless.

So that was the workshop, first taster session.

Last week- from Wednesday to Sunday, Eugene Buica’s workshop, acting and personal obstacles. One of the great exercises we did was a media deprivation one- which means that for 5 days we didn’t consume/connect with any of the media sources/products/anything that was released to be consumed by the public. No books, no music, no movies, no internet. Shet. Just sit and look at your ghosts. It is a bit troubling, but also makes you realize how easy it is to run away from your own thoughts, the most uncomfortable ones, by listening to your favorite music/watchin a movie/doing some internet surfing, as always. Great great focus and connection to the present, which is smth that constantly appears in my life lately (because I am interested in it?). Learning how to look at and listen to the person in front of you, and how to let him/her see you as well. How to change and to let yourself be changed by your partner. And another great thing, hallelujah, about the performance and the performer as the person who is telling a story, and not as the one who tries to live profound and divine emotions on stage in order to make the audience also feel emotion and all that. Just tell the fuckin story. Eugene link . He has a great attention and works so beautiful that you wish it wouldn’t end.

In the countryside now. I decided to post fragments of “pedagogy of the oppressed” while I re-read it, as I took it with me, together with the watchmen book. Coz people don’t know it and it makes me wanna share it even from the introduction to the introduction where a guy named richrd shaull resumes it. Strange this impulse you have when there’s something that you like so much, that you wanna share it, it’s impossible to experience it alone.

Also workin on a post about tiina’s collaborative work with her hairdresser and her optician.
Had a very interesting discussion with Eugene about the relationship between teachers and students here. He seemed really amazed when we told him that many young students fuck their teachers here/or wouldn’t hesitate if necessary, because they are desperate and they want to make it in life, and many teachers take advantage of their position and try to teach the young students what’s the deal in the arts business, meaning that sometimes, why not, you have to suck a dick or 2. The thing that made me think was actually that Eugene’s genuine amazement made me realize that our attitude towards this was also sort of – “these things happen”, sort of tolerating something that shouldn’t be tolerated in any way.

I am also amazed when I hear that a role model like ion besoiu asks young girls ce parare au despre pula, or that a role model and a teacher like puiu serban puts his hands all over the young students’ body tellin them that’s the deal in showbiz. But what makes me even more amazed is that these young girls are so blocked of fear and shame that they don’t even react, they just let it happen because that’s how things are. When the truth is that this is nothing else but rape, psychological and sometimes even physical rape. And people go to prison for that.

This talk sort of made us realize that the parable with the elephant cub is quite true - when the elephant is just a baby, they tie him with a rope to the tree. And when the elephant grows up and is taller than the tree, it still doesn’t move away from the tree even if it could pluck it out in no time.

joi, 10 decembrie 2009

the orange bathrobe, morning and more

able to wake up again at 7 o'clock in the morning, watching how the mall appears through the mornin fogg. and those lyrics- "the cars hiss by my window" and then something with waves. like the waves down on the beach. found an old poster with jim morrison 2 days ago, put it in the bathroom.

back from london. luton and wizzair experience. i am now officially the most skillfull illegal traveler ever. managed to get 15 extra kilos hidden in a bag under my huge eastern european jacket. had all my notebooks, books, laptop, camera in it. my "official" luggage, which had to be 10 kilos, was in a nice and small backpack. 9,4. so basically i had a 10 kilos handbag, and a 15 kilos hidden purse.

will have the first workshop session on sunday, at school. what you saw and what you heard this week.

this week, last week. london was beautiful and felt like home. bucharest feels like home as well. i guess i have 2 homes now.

what else- notes from my notebook, like stuff that i should not forget to write on my blog about-

"2 pounds in the bus with javi"- that is, i was in the bus wth javi, just bought stuff for the party on saturday, arms full of stuff, and javi's oyster beeps red. she gets a 10 pounds note to pay cash, the driver says i got no chnge, but wait until the next stop and i'll give you the change, we say ok, and then a guy from the bus gets 2 pounds out of his pocket and says- here, i got 2 pounds, and pays for javi's ticket. not flirty in any kind, not drunk, not on drugs. we say thanks, he says- "it's alright" and moves towards the back of the bus, to take a seat. end of story.

"the clown-woman with a phd in walking and her inflatable couch"- that is Hilary Ramsden, who is just completing her phd in wlking and storytelling.

"the empty room. "i have empty rooms everywhere i live coz i'm always ready to leave to another place. i've been living in my last room for couple of years." his room was empty. he had magazine about boxing on the floor, a book about joy division and a book about tennis and a book about dylan. said he always wanted to be an actor but never performed. he was about 35. owned a bar and almost never used internet. m from scotland."

at luton, waiting for the gate, fell asleep next to a group of gypsies. 2 young girls, an old lady and a young man. one of the girls had a beautiful orange bathrobe on her. she was basiclly travelling dressed in a bathrobe, a bright orange one. with a white playboy bunny on her back. they were funny. when we went to the gate, the blonde blue eyed lady shouted at them "open your pssports!!" and then still angry for some reason, told the young guy- "can you please stop popping gum in my face?that is rude." i wanted to tell her that she is rude, but i couldn't be bothered. she was just a blonde bitch.

miercuri, 2 decembrie 2009

what u see and what u hear

a show in which there's a black box. you enter. there's somebody in the box together with you. you can't see him, but you hear him and you feel his presence. he asks: what kind of song dyou want?a happy one, a sad one? you choose. he sings it for you, but you don't see him at all. just hear and feel his presence.

7 o'clock in the morning, in the tube, people walk slowly, shoulder to shoulder. ragi was in the subway, everything was packed. a guy was reading the newspaper. he was tall, and kept the newspaper on ragi's head.somewhere in the back, a woman threw up. nobody could move or turn around to see her, they just felt the smell.

a man was feeding 7 squirrels.

tiina brought me toys: