catalysing active/critical citizenship: participatory tools for organisers and activists

23rd Sept to 1st Oct

This is a training for trainers, organisers and activists, who want to build and deepen their skills for empowering active and critical citizenship. The course offers the opportunity to explore a range of theories, models, and practices that can be used to help individuals, communities and organisations find the inspiration, courage and understanding they need to take back control of their lives.

These tools can be used to help catalyse engagement within diverse communities. The participatory approaches it shares help people, communities and organisations engage in empowering dialogue, critical reflection and find motivation for decisive action.

We live in a time of ‘reflexive impotence’. Communication technologies bring the images and stories of world events into our lives in ever more Retina Screen detail in proportion to a growing sense of helplessness. We are all-too-well informed about the failings and irrationalities of our times. We’re deeply conscious of them – and often self-conscious of our complicity. And yet, ways to meaningfully influence what’s going on can seem elusive. All too often we resign ourselves, perhaps with some discomfort, to our part in it all, as onlookers. And yet, as Edmund Burke once wrote, “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing.”

The tools and approaches shared in this course will help organisers and activists support people to think more critically about their role in shaping society. They will enable you to bring communities together in inquiring and empowering dialogue with each other. They will give you more confidence to assist others to find the inspiration and courage to step up as active and critical citizens. These are crucial skills at a time when progressive values need to be defended and extended through vigorous engagement.

The training focuses on helping trainers and organisers to gain the skills and increase their confidence to facilitate and share participatory processes in diverse communities. Participatory approaches such as Theatre of the Oppressed, Popular Education and other experiential learning methodologies have been developed in the empowerment of communities across the world. The LABO team have been applying a spectrum of these methodologies amongst diverse communities in Belgium for many years. Here they share the tools they have found to be most useful in a wide range of pluralistic and multicultural settings.

In 2009, Mark Fisher wrote that for many people “the lack of alternatives to capitalism is no longer even an issue. Capitalism seamlessly occupies the horizon of the thinkable.” This training provides tools and practices that can help us to reclaim the radical imagination and extend the horizon of the thinkable to include a life affirming and socially just future.

More details to follow soon…

The Team:
LABO vzw is a non-profit educational organisation that strives as a movement towards a strong civil society that collectively work to create social change and a commitment to social justice. LABO vzw believes in the power of communities to facilitate radical transformation of the current model of society. A crucial condition is the sustainability and democratization of community associations that have come under pressure. LABO vzw advocates for the extension of a creative community of discerning global citizens who transform our society.

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