Decolonization and the pedagogy of solidarity

By Rubén A. Gaztambide-Fernández, Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education, & Society, Vol 1, No 1 (2012)

The concept of solidarity is often evoked within projects of decolonization. More recently, however, the failure to construct solidary relationships that seriously engage the demands posed by decolonization has provoked scepticism as well as suspicion regarding the viability of solidarity. A consideration of the genealogy as well as the multifarious uses of the concept of solidarity reveals some of the ways in which the concept reinscribes colonial logics and operates to obscure complicity and continued colonization. At the same time, it is possible to articulate a set of parameters for solidary relations through which to imaginatively construct new ways of entering into relations with others. In fact, when informed by the failures of responses such as multiculturalism and cosmopolitanism to the problem of human difference, solidarity remains an important possibility. This article proposes three modes for a pedagogy of solidarity that is committed to decolonization. It argues for the possibilities of relational, transitive, and creative solidarity as a strategy for recasting not only human relations but also the very notion of what it means to be human, as crucial for decolonization.

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