First number: Learning in a time of containment
In recent weeks much of the restrictions and features of late capitalism have collapsed. Global supply chains are at breaking point. International mobility has been restricted. The British state is paying the furloughed wages of millions as the cash crisis necessitating austerity – an ideological position – has disappeared. Western countries are considering forms of universal basic income, helicopter money, and unprecedented loans to a range of businesses.
The distinction between public and private has collapsed, as companies like Amazon and supermarkets are shown to be vital infrastructure revising their operations to accommodate the common good. From a disability perspective, those previously not allowed to work from home have been transformed into a new mass of teleworkers, as video conferencing and remote working take over our work and social lives.
Food scarcity from just-in-time culture bring empty shelves and fear to many. There is no normal anymore. And paradoxically, all has pushed against the slow cancellation of the future. Low socioeconomic status professions such as caring and logistics and supermarket shelf-stacking have become recognized for the real social and economic value that they bring. Those who are not key workers are confined to their homes.
In amidst this fear and contagion, educational possibilities have been created. Existing courses have been moved online, schoolchildren have been sent home to design their own timetables, curriculums, and learning, even the most reluctant professors have been forced to try new things using technology to provide teaching.
Academic life has been disrupted profoundly. Some will produce research at a blazing rate with focus and time; others will be crippled with anxiety. For co-operative educators and learners, urgent questions have been posed:
- What does the COVID crisis for mean for co-operative or radical education?
- How do we think about this period of crisis?
- What does the translation to online learning mean for power, hierarchy, bodily experiences, affect?
- How have you have adapted, responded, changed your scholarly, pedagogic and other educational practices in light of the new and transformed learning environments?
A co-operative and radical education zine
A new zine for co-operative and sympathetic radical educators and learners to share their experiences, and practices takes this exceptional context as the theme for its first issue.
- personal reflections on what this means for co-operative and other radical learning?
- What is your lived experience as an educator or learner? What are you learning just now? About yourself, about others?
- What are you doing now that is different? What potential or possibilities do you think there are?
- concrete examples of change practices as a result of these changes – this might be sharing exercises, advice, experiences, things which did (not) work, ideas for others to try.
Why a zine?
We have chosen the format of a zine because it is flexible, and so invite contributions of not more than 750 words, a short poem, a video clip, an audio clip, collages, pictures, photo essays.
We will include online content where possible – if you have technical or other questions, please ask us.
We also invite proposals for future topics relevant to co-operative learning at all levels.
Submissions and queries
Please send submissions, and address any queries to firstname.lastname@example.org by the end of 13th May 2020. This has been extended slightly to allow for some additional circulation.