06 March 2019

Transforming Political Education

Soundings teamed up with The World Transformed (TWT) to organise ‘Transforming Political Education’ at Rich Mix in East London on 16 February. We wanted to explore how the contemporary left can learn from activism and different kinds of education projects to create a more culturally inclusive, participatory and democratic left politics for the twenty-first century.

Speaker from left to right: Roshi Naidoo, Ellen Moran, Taya Williams and Farzana Khan. 

We need radical solutions to our current crises and challenges: precarious work, climate change, the housing crisis, the gender pay gap, #metoo, the hostile environment, racist authoritarianism. Soundings has a strong and rich history of thinking across the realms of politics and culture to understand the possibilities and challenges of left politics. And, over the last three years, The World Transformed festival has opened-up a new space on the left where thousands of people have come together to develop a ‘new politics’ that can address these big issues. We’ve teamed up with TWT to build connections between our networks, and to open-up a dialogue about the question of how to develop transformative political education across the UK.

Nearly 100 people were part of this event. Our five speakers kicked-off sessions of participatory discussion by outlining different approaches, traditions and ideas from the radical histories of political education. Attendees then collectively explored what can be learnt from current forms of feminist, anti-racist, anti-austerity and other forms of activism. Different perspectives on the histories, existing practices and possible futures of political education were shared and collectively reflected on.

Our speakers were: arts educator Farzana Khan (Platform and Voices that Shake), tenants’ rights and anti-poverty activists Ellen Moran and Taya Williams (ACORN), senior research fellow Sharon Clancy (Adult Education 100), writer and campaigner Roshi Naidoo (Soundings editorial collective) and Sasha Josette (The World Transformed and Momentum).

This was the first of a series of events Soundings will be hosting this year. Keep an eye on the L&W website, e-news and social media for for updates about the conversations and projects that develop out of this event, and about future events in this series.

Introductory talks by Ellen Moran, Taya Williams, Farzana Khan, Sharon Clancy and Sasha Josette are available now on SoundCloud.