Missive to E-readers

Image: Elyeser Szturm

By Jean-Pierre Chauvin*

An invitation to read the work of Paulo Freire.

Piratininga Village, December 17, 2019 Christian Era

Excellent (E)Reader;

Valuable (E)Reader,

I hope this missive finds you well; although I have some doubts here, given the situation we've been living in for five, six years. Around here, a technocratic, brutal and abandoned metropolis, the climate (I mean atmospheric) is more coherent than the people of São Paulo – who ask for a rotation of power, always choosing the same ones – the days dawn warm, but some water usually comes at the end of the day. afternoon. On the occasions when there is a football game (the only sport commented on with false depth), all the dammed-up libido and the slight possibility of contestation is converted into fireworks, shots and screams of people who would be fine in a madhouse.

I suspect that Your Graces, educated, honest and good people, are following (and perhaps disseminating) the daily misfortunes of the current staff that invaded the neocolony, which takes its name from the stick from which ember-colored paint was taken, in the XNUMXth century.

Well, if this hypothesis is correct, I imagine that they view the sociologist and educator Paulo Freire with distrust, although they don't really know who he was and probably haven't carefully read the pile of books he left behind.

date of vengeance, I wanted to present you with another perspective: that of a reader and educator who for six years worked voluntarily in an NGO, between the region of Jabaquara and the Airport.

It worked more or less like this: aside from contributing one or two nights a week at the entity, for more than a year my colleagues and I attended the meetings (also weekly) of the training course move – financially encouraged by the City of São Paulo, which also provided experienced educators who shared with us the concepts and practices developed by Freire.

If you allow me to summarize the objective of the course, we were encouraged to reflect on the educational practice, taking into account the socioeconomic and cultural condition of the students, with a view to continuously improving our practice in literacy and/or supplementary classrooms.

We often hear barbarities around Paulo Freire, almost always uttered by those who think they know his ideas and his work, even if by ear – something quite common, in a country where most of its citizens are Pê-Jotas and entrepreneurs (despite there being no capital or consumer market).

It was probably this ignorance about what he wrote and did that irritated a lot of good people, especially those beings who got tired of witnessing some advances in policies aimed at social promotion.

The question of land, or if you prefer, the question of space, is just as serious in this country assigned to the United States, as the contempt for time and the disciplines that deal with it, such as History and Literature.

But let us return to the Freirian method, the subject of this open letter. The (e)reader, the (e)reader, by chance, will have read Pedagogy of the Oppressed (Paz e Terra), edited in 1968 (and translated into English two years later)? Believe me, I'm not gloating; But, you know what's more fun? Noting the energetic persistence of citizens, so zealous for their interests and crap morals, to share the fallacy that Paulo Freire was a doctrinaire.

I say this because, in this book in particular, the educator defended exactly the opposite: the function of the teacher was not to indoctrinate, but to stimulate freedom, the autonomous spirit of his students. Since when has freedom been classified as a leftist ideology?

If Your Excellencies, who speak as honest, impartial and correct people, harbor some prejudice against national authors, films and composers, although they parade in cheap CBF T-shirts, I can recommend another name: that of the Frenchman Jacques Rancière, author of a remarkable book called the ignorant master (Authentic),

Guess, please, what he stands for on the continent there? The same as Paulo Freire, with decades of difference. For the philosopher there, the educator (or teacher, or master, as he calls him) would have as his main task not to instruct his students (or students, or disciples, or pupils), but to emancipate them.

What is the most coherent method to be adopted by the master, in this case? Act on what you say. And this, fortunately, was also said and demonstrated by Paulo Freire.

We know very well that, in our country, part of it proud hostage of the United States, and who else put money in this open air auction (surrounded by mines, logging companies and temples that bless brooms), Education, Health and Democracy are worth a lot less than the fake news and the moralistic discourse voiced by the most exclusive and selfish subjects; more perverted and much less exemplary. Let the hundreds of daily cases of pedophilia, the beating of women, homosexuals, transsexuals, blacks and Indians say so.

Perhaps this explains the gratuitous hatred, fed back by the lighthearted speech of the staff federal government, intentional disinformation and the rigorous fallacy of the brutalized. But everything is fine. One cannot demand coherence from someone who has chosen an ideologue as a cultural bastion. What to expect from a video poster, elevated to the master of subjects who disguise their stature (below mediocrity) with the arrogance of pseudophilosophies that encourage undertaking with dignity, even if surrounded by miseries: social, emotional, cultural, mental, political etc., etc., etc.

Your Excellencies, forgive me for insisting on the motto of coherence. But, let's face it: how can there be no respect for teachers who face harsh reality, inside and outside the schools and universities where they work, and reverence left for a guy installed with public money, miles away from our reality, who is not a pedagogue, who pretends to (re)think the world based on common sense, and whose “teachings” are accompanied by low-slang words, incitement to various forms of violence and the country's cheap surrender?

There would be so much to tell you, but I am not capable of summarizing in one or two lines what it represented in my career as a student/student; educator/teacher and researcher, the coexistence between students from 15 needy communities, assisted by CIPS (the NGO I referred to), over six years.

Perhaps you could mention the use of the letter baton; explain the use of shared reading with students; translate what is meant by generator theme; or, even, to present the keyword taught by Paulo Freire, which consists of “reading the world” – a concept detailed, for example, in a less extensive book than Pedagogy of the Oppressed,entitled The importance of the act of reading in three articles that complement each other (Cortez), published in 1981.

Your Graces will forgive me, once again, for inviting you to read Paulo Freire. It's just that I'm tired of dealing with the demand that many of your people make about the need for dialogue, a task supposedly imposed on people on the left. Well, well: it's not on our side that there is a lack of reading and the praise of the three oitão and the incapacity for dialogue are widened day and night.

Sincerely, &c.

*Jean Pierre Chauvin Professor at the School of Communication and Arts at USP

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