Interview part 3. Danilo Streck discusses reconfiguring the public.

The Place of the Popular in Reconfiguring the Public

Interview: Danilo Streck

[…] the matrix of popular education is not built on the principal of excluding the different, but on the radicality of the affirmation of the place from which one speaks.”

Danilo Streck1

In this interview, Danilo Streck, profesor of the post graduate program in education at UNISINOS, Rio Grande do Sul, and author of books on popular education, Paulo Freire, and other pedagogic thinkers in Latin America, discusses his philosophy, the importance of recovering the history of Latin American pedagogic thinking and the vital role of the popular in the possible reconfiguring of the public in contemporary society.

Recallling the philosopher Hannah Arendt, Streck asserts that, “it is by speaking to and being heard by others that a public sphere is constructed”2. As examples, he reflects on the potency of the recent Brazilian street protests, the contagious porosity of the popular in creating new hybrid forms, and the popular participatory initiatives such as the participative budgeting in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and its capital Porto Alegre in the south of Brazil or the World Social Forums – the first three of which took place in Porto Alegre (2001–2003). These examples suggest ways of constructing and weaving public spheres of solidarity and difference. It is in these spaces and frontiers that emerge new possibilities and porosities for the reconfiguring of the public.

The interview is divided in three parts and is approximately 20 minutes in duration.

1) Archaeology of a Pedagogic Philosophy – Streck discusses his pedagogy and important influences.

2) Fonts of Pedagogy in Latin America – to excavate and construct an emancipatory pedagogy it is fundamental to recover the history of pedagogic thought in Latin America and to affirm an at once home grown and global pedagogy – enrooted and cosmopolitan.

3) Reconfiguring the Public – explores the meaning of publicness in Brazilian society, the recent street protests and popular initiatives such as the World Social Forums and the participatory budget system in Porto Alegre.

1 STRECK, Danilo. A educação popular e a (re)construção do público: Há fogo sob as brasas? Revista Brasileira de Educação, v. 11. n. 32, p. 272 – 284, 2006.

2 Streck draws on the Arendt’s thoughts on the public realm and the common. In Hannah Arendt. The Human Condition. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998 (originally published 1958), pp 50 – 58