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[Xmca-l] Re: Understanding/changing "something"

Hi Mike,

I don't know about great leaders but I interpret the work of Paulo Freire
along this strand, with his notion of praxis. It is also in the work of
Orlando Fals-Borda, Colombian sociologist and activist, often described as
the "father" of Participatory Action Research, with his concept
'vivencia'.  In both, I hear theorizations and interventions rooted in the
very dialectic between knowing/understanding the world (as spatial,
historical, etc.) and transforming it.

I was struck recently by Rigoberta Menchu's talk (Nobel Peace Prize
laureate; Guatemalan Indigenous freedom fighter) at our campus. She spoke
about social transformation as inhering in us, as unfinished
beings--becoming as Freire (among others) would say.  Yet, she said that
reclaiming historical memories for Indigenous peoples is also transforming
history, it is to re/write it differently and thus transform it.

On a side and related note: how are our conceptions of "history" in turn
shaping how we see transformation? And whence spatiality, how we exist and
become as spatial beings, how is this dimension of being and becoming
theorized in our ideas of "history"?


On 5/28/15 11:08 AM, "mike cole" <mcole@ucsd.edu> wrote:

>For a current writing project I have been led to think about the fact that
>Kurt Lewin is widely quoted as telling his students and colleagues that
>you want to understand something, try to change it."
>I have long associated this idea with the notion that if you want to
>understand HISTORY, try to change IT. But either I am reading
>Lewin into Marxism, or hallucinating. Can it really be true that no Great
>Leader has ever said that you want to understand history (a particular
>"something") try to change it?
>There are well known major influences of Lewin on both Vygotsky and Luria
>that might be illuminated by this inquiry, one way or the other.
>Thanks for any help you can provide.
>All there is to thinking is seeing something noticeable which makes
>you see something you weren't noticing which makes you see something
>that isn't even visible. N. McLean, *A River Runs Through it*