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[Xmca-l] Re: Play and performance Article for discussion

Is there any way Mike's Skype talk and the other
contributions can be shared by slackers like us didn't go to


Andy Blunden
On 18/09/2017 8:48 AM, David Kellogg wrote:
> In Mike's Skyped remarks in Quebec on Yrjö Engeström’s presentation on
> social movements, Mike made the important point that it is not simply
> progressive movements which require study. From education studies we know
> that studying a phenomenon isn't necessarily a good way to promote it; the
> two aims can be quite contradictory, in fact. So in many ways it's probably
> more urgent to study reactionary and dangerous social movements, and when
> we do this, we sometimes find that the process of analysis and study really
> does lead to a useful social movement (and that such social movements are
> more likely to be underpinned by the "breaking away" of Engeström's earlier
> work than the material "ratchet" of his Quebec presentation).
> I was thinking of this remark in the light of three social movements:
> a) The mass strike currently sweeping Korean textile companies operating in
> Vietnam.
> b) The demonstrations in Saint Louis against the police murder of Anthony
> Lamar Smith in 2011.
> c) Carrie Lobman's paper on taking the performance art of Newark kids to
> the boardrooms of New York bankers.
> I think a) and b) are indisputably instances of progressive social
> movements that have their immediate roots in fact-finding about reactionary
> and dangerous social movements (Korean investment in Vietnam, and the
> increasing militarization of the US police force). But I find myself a
> little perplexed by c).
> I think Carrie is too, actually: in the beginning part of the paper, she
> presents her protagonists as country bumpkins somewhat out of their depth
> in the boardrooms, while in the second part it transpires that it is the
> bankers that are there to learn from the social movement of young actors
> rather than vice versa.
> I can see treating bankers as a social movement--a reactionary and
> dangerous one which directly profits from the kinds of inequality that are
> the object of social movements a) and b). But if we are playing "Crazy
> Eights" with bankers, treating ourselves as human beings like themselves,
> wouldn't it be better to visit their homes rather than their boardrooms?
> (Note that some of the most effective demonstrations in Saint Lous--not
> necessarily the most violent, but certainly the most effective--have had to
> do with laying siege to the home of the mayor!)
> David Kellogg
> On Sat, Sep 16, 2017 at 5:53 AM, Alfredo Jornet Gil <a.j.gil@iped.uio.no>
> wrote:
>> Dear all,
>> Issue 3 of Mind, Culture and Activity has been out for a while now and it
>> is time to have one of the articles discussed here at xmca. We have
>> selected one that deals with a topic that interests me a lot and I am
>> confident will be interesting to many: the role of play and performance in
>> personal development and social change.
>> Carrie's paper starts with a beautiful vignette from a workshop bringing
>> youth from poor communities together with business people to jointly play
>> and perform. The next section ?abruptly brings us back to Vygotsky's
>> writings about play, ?and these then serve as the backdrop to a revisit to
>> the opening workshop. The analyses and the discussion invite us to
>> understand development "not as a set of stages that a people pass through
>> on their way to adulthood, but as the collective creation of stages
>> (environments) where people can perform who they are becoming."
>> Carrie has been kind enough to accept joining us in the discussion, and
>> she will introduce her article much better in a few days, while we all get
>> the time to read and bring up any questions or comments we might have. I am
>> sending this early, though, ?to give people a few days in advance to be
>> able to start looking at the article, which I hope will catch the interest
>> of many. Good read! And good weekend,
>> Alfredo