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date: 22 June 2021

Student Movements in Latin America: Decolonizing and Feminizing Education and Lifelocked

Student Movements in Latin America: Decolonizing and Feminizing Education and Lifelocked

  • Sara C. Motta, Sara C. MottaDepartment of Politics, University of Newcastle
  • Norma Lucia Bermudez Gomez, Norma Lucia Bermudez GomezCenter for Research and Studies of Gender, Women and Society, Universidad del Valle
  • Katia Valenzuela FuentesKatia Valenzuela FuentesDepartment of Territorial Planning, Universidad de Concepción
  •  and Ella Simone DixonElla Simone DixonDepartment of Sociology, Macquarie University

Summary

Student movements and radical education collectives across Latin America, building on traditions of radical, popular, feminist, and Indigenizing education, are seeking the democratization of the politics of knowledge and education in their regional contexts. Drawing on the cases of Chile, Colombia, and Mexico, it is possible to map and conceptualize a clear autonomous/decolonizing strand within the broader weaving of students’ movements, looking at the pedagogies of emancipation that underpin and are emergent in their praxis.

The process of researching such movements and their politics of knowledge involves a decolonizing and pedagogical approach that embeds the co-creation of knowledges for transformation between researcher and movements. This builds upon work related to prefigurative epistemologies and decolonizing pedagogies of movement scholars such as Motta, Bermúdez, and Valenzuela Fuentes. It foregrounds the work of Neplanteras, of whom Gloria Anzaldúa speaks, those who bridge communities, sociabilities, epistemologies, and subjects on the margins. Nepantleras, as Anzaldúa continues, “are threshold people, those who move within and among multiple worlds and use their movements in the service of transformation.”

Our collaborative research as Nepantleras has identified three broad themes emergent across these political and deeply pedagogical educational struggles and experiences. First is the practices, ethics, and experiences that foreground the prefigurative and horizontal nature of the politics of decolonizing and autonomous knowledge being co-created. Second is the feminization of resistance, involving both the emergence and centering of women and feminized subjects in movement and collective struggles, and the feminization of politics and knowledge making. Third is the key role played by affect and an embodied/enfleshed politics in the three cases, and how they foster the democratization, feminization, and decolonization of education and everyday life.

Subjects

  • Contentious Politics and Political Violence
  • Post Modern/Critical Politics
  • World Politics

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