Video-taped Dialogues on Dignity or Dignilogues
#dignism


 

We often use #dignism when we upload videos on YouTube (see also Evelin Lindner's channel, and Gaby Saab's WDUi channel).


At the 'Lazy School' and 'Lazy University' in the Pgak' Nyau (Karen) Village 'Ban Nong Thao', Post-conference Excursion, 13th - 14th March 2014

After the 23rd Annual Conference of Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies, 'Returning Dignity', in Chiang Mai, Thailand, some of the participants were able to accept the kind invitation extended to us by the Ngak' Nyau (Karen) village Ban Nong Thao in Northern Thailand (at 1200 meters height), the village of Joni Odochaw, the Karen sage and former village headman, who had given his special talk on Day One of our conference in at Chiang Mai University:

• 04 Special Talk: A Voice from Indigenous People, by Joni Odochaw, a Karen Sage and Former Village Headman from the Karen Village Ban Nong Thao

• 29 Zwae Siwakom Odochao and Otzie (or Oshi, Chindanai Jowaloo, or also Chai) Present Their Pgak' Nyau Village Ban Nong Thao in Northern Thailand (at 1200 Meters Height) on 13th March 2014, see the long version of one hour or part 1 | part 2 | part 3
The 23rd Annual Conference of the Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies network, titled 'Returning Dignity', took place at Chiang Mai University in Northern Thailand from 8th-12th March 2014. After the conference, on the 13th and 14th March, some of the participants visited the Ngak' Nyau (Karen) village Ban Nong Thao in Northern Thailand (at 1200 meters height), the village of Joni Odochaw, the Karen sage and former village headman, who had given his special talk on Day One of our conference in at Chiang Mai University.
In this presentation, given on the 13th March 2014, Joni Odochaw's son Zwae Siwakom Odochao and his cousin Otzie (or Oshi, Chindanai Jowaloo, or also Chai) introduce their village. The presentation has three parts. The video-recording was kindly done by Mark Petz.
In our view, the knowledge that we learned here, is among the most valuable resource that Thailand has to offer to the world. As the world faces a multitude of crises, the knowledge of the indigenous people is crucial for the survival of humankind. After our visit, we drafted the 'Proclamation on Rural Resilience' and sent it off to the United Nations with the aim to help secure the rights of indigenous peoples in the post-2015 development goals. We understood from our visit that these rights are of central significance for all of humankind's survival, much more than simply of marginal importance for a few minorities.
In this presentation, given on the 13th March 2014, Joni Odochaw's son Zwae Siwakom Odochao and his cousin Otzie (or Oshi, Chindanai Jowaloo, or also Chai) introduce their village. The presentation has three parts. The video-recording was kindly done by Mark Petz.
Part One: Forest Village Life: Zwae Siwakom Odochao explains how people and nature are connected in Karen culture. For instance, the umbilical cord of each new-born baby is tied around a tree, which then becomes the tree of that person. When timber logging began, this connection was disregarded. (This summary was created by Evelin Lindner.)
Part Two: Forest Wisdom: Zwae Siwakom Odochao and his cousin Otzie explain how their community is embedded into nature. Then they discuss the challenges their community faces. They begin by demonstrating the intimate knowledge they have of the nature around them. They explain how they learn about the functions of the plants from their elders and protect them by way of community agreement. Then they address the modern challenges that come from many sides, among others, from school and media. People now want ever more, for instance, instead of one piece of clothes, they own ten pieces of clothes, and they want a car, and a 'nice' house. In traditional culture, says Otzie, 'my security is in you, and your security is in me'. In traditional culture, people do not need to buy so much stuff to satisfy their wants. To give an example, people can make a fire together and sit down around it to talk, while in modern life, people do not ask anybody else, they just fetch their warm coat. The challenge of today is how to 'walk on two legs', the two legs of traditional and modern ways of living. School can be a good place when children learn how to take care of mother Earth and to walk on those two legs. Therefore, Zwae, Otzie, and their community, they wish to create their own school, within their own community, teaching the wisdom of their own area. (This summary was created by Evelin Lindner.)
Part Three: Lazy Man - Lazy Way: Zwae Siwakom Odochao and his cousin Otzie explain how the name 'Lazy Man' came about. Thirty years ago, when monoculture became fashionable, their father refrained from jumping on this bandwagon. His wife therefore called him 'lazy'. Thirty years later, she is thrilled, because she enjoys the diversity of fruits and products that come from the traditional cultivation approaches that her family maintained. Also, there is a hero in Karen folk tales, a man who always succeeded through apparent 'lazyness'. The dream of this Karen community is now to develop a 'Lazy School', where the wisdom of the world can be exchanged both locally and globally. It is not enough to go into a square room to learn, says Zwae, learning is a much more comprehensive process. Zwae Siwakom Odochao spent time in Japan, for instance, and his cousin Otzie was in India, and people from all corners of the world visit their village. In that way, mutual learning happens. (This summary was created by Evelin Lindner.)

• 30 An Elder Speaks: Joni Odochaw, Karen Sage and Former Village Headman from Ban Nong Thao, in Conversation with Mariana Vergara, Sharing the Voice of the Indigenous Peoples from South America (High Density), 13th March 2014
We apologise that the conversation ends abruptly, due to technical problems. The video was recorded by Evelin Lindner. See the high density version edited by Mark Petz, and the original Mp4 version.

• 31 Clothing Traditions: Joni Odochaw, His Wife, His Son Zwae, Together with His Cousin Otzie and His Mother (High Density), 14th March 2014
The video was recorded by Evelin Lindner. See the high density version edited by Mark Petz, and the original Mp4 version.

• 32 Vision for the Future: Joni Odochaw, His Son Zwae, and His Cousin Otzie Speak about the Karen Vision of Life (High Density), 14th March 2014
The video was recorded by Evelin Lindner. See the high density version edited by Mark Petz, and the original Mp4 version.

• 33 The Lazy School's First Student Peter Dering (High Density), 14th March 2014

The video was recorded by Evelin Lindner. See the high density version edited by Mark Petz, and the original Mp4 version. This article expresses the gist of what Peter Dering shared, 'You Can’t Sell Capitalism to Young People Anymore. We just aren’t buying it', by Lauren Martinchek, Medium, 17th July 2019.

Please listen also to Karen singer Chi Suwichin, who reminds us that we have to avoid being like those outsiders who come to indigenous peoples and take everything until nothing is left....

Please see the Proclamation on Rural Resilience that we sent off to the United Nations after listening to Joni Odochao, Zwae, and Otzie, with the aim to help secure the rights of indigenous peoples in the post-2015 development goals. We understood from Joni Odochao, Zwae, and Otzie that these rights are of central significance for all of humankind's survival, much more than simply of marginal importance for a few minorities. They helped us better understand the dilemma that education, TV, and the digital world can be either beneficial or destructive to sustainable ways of living. As Peter Dering, the first student of the 'Lazy School' formulated it so well on 13th March 2014: our vision must be to expand community learning to include modern knowledge through technology, rather than lose community learning! The proclamation was initiated by Mark Petz and we sent it directly to the delegates meeting at the same time at the UN in NY to shape the 2015-2030 policy goals. In that way we attempted to connect the grass-roots in the village directly with the highest international policy making bodies. If we are listened to, we don't know, but we feel that we have to do our best.

Links:
Misak Education: Decolonising the Mind
The Misak indigenous people, from the south of Colombia, experienced almost complete cultural, territorial and linguistic loss, before taking back their ancestral lands in the 1970s, going on to rejuvenate their culture, reclaim their traditions and strengthen their autonomy. Today 95% of Misak speak their mother tongue. Nine out of ten youth who leave the territory, return. How have the Misak done this? And what role has their own indigenous education system played?

'School as We Knew It Is Over. What Comes Next? Even Before the Pandemic, Schools Weren’t Really Doing Their Job', by Simon Rodberg, Medium, 3rd July 2020.

'Does Social and Emotional Learning Belong in the Classroom?' by Peter Greene, Forbes, August 22, 2019.

Claudelice dos Santos and Her Forest School Project
Claudelice dos Santos explains her Forest School project to legal expert professor Gaby Saab. Claudelice is a sustainable extractivist and Law of the Land undergraduate (University of South and South East Pará), and sister of assassinated forest protector Zé Cláudio dos Santos. We thank Evelin Lindner for recording this video, and please be aware that this is an unedited video. It is only accessible upon request.

A forest kindergarten
is a type of preschool education for children between the ages of three and six that is held almost exclusively outdoors. Whatever the weather, children are encouraged to play, explore and learn in a forest or natural environment. The adult supervision is meant to assist rather than lead. It is also known as Waldkindergarten (in German), outdoor nursery, or nature kindergarten.

Factory Schools: Crimes Against Children, documentary film, Survival International, July 2019: 'Two million tribal and indigenous children are in Factory Schools today. Lives are destroyed and families are torn apart as the children are intentionally alienated from their community and stripped of their identity'. See A Loss to All Humanity, by Survival International: 'This contempt for indigenous knowledge and culture ends up destroying tribal peoples and their unique cultures and knowledge. At home, tribal children learn complex and sophisticated skills and knowledge which allow them to live well on their land and nurture it for the future. Tribal peoples are the best conservationists and guardians of the natural world. Thousands of years of collective wisdom, understanding, and insight can be lost within one generation when children are not learning in their communities and languages. What’s the solution? Tribal and indigenous peoples’ education must be under their control. It must be rooted in the people’s own land, language and culture, and give children both a sound education and pride in themselves and their people. Let’s make this a reality for all tribal children – before it is too late'.

The Enawene Nawe of Brazil control their education, which is rooted in their culture and language. © Survival International

Orang Rimba children learning with Sokola Rimba (The Jungle School), Indonesia © Aulia Erlangga

Baka child studying with indigenous education project ’Two Rabbits’ in Cameroon © Sarah Strader/chasingtworabbits.org

'Dear School, Eff Your "F": Our Education System Is Killing Learning, One Standardized Test at a Time', by Anastasia Basil, Medium, 8th July 2019.

'It’s Time to Blow Up The Public School System: Why We Need Radical Transformation in Our Quest to Educate the Next Generation', by Matthew Kent, Medium, 12th June 2019.

See terms such as 'natural learning', 'unschooling', or 'deschooling': 'Natural learning' describes a type of learning where children pursue knowledge based on their interests and parents are facilitators of this learning. It is partly overlapping with 'unschooling', a term coined by John Holt, and 'deschooling', a term connected with Ivan Illich.

See also Pasi Sahlberg, Finnish Lessons 2.0: What Can the World Learn from Educational Change in Finland? (New York: Teachers College Press, 2011): Ever wondered how Finland managed to build its highly regarded school system? Look behind the headlines and find out. Finnish Lessons is a firsthand, comprehensive account of how Finland built a world-class education system over the past three decades. The author traces the evolution of education policies in Finland and highlights how they differ from those in the United States and other industrialized countries. Rather than relying on competition, school choice, and external testing of students, education reforms in Finland focus on professionalizing teachers' work, developing instructional leadership in schools, and enhancing trust in teachers and schools. This book details the complexity of educational change and encourages educators and policy makers to develop effective solutions for their own districts and schools. Pasi Sahlberg recounts the history of Finnish educational reform as only a well-traveled insider can, offering the insight and facts necessary for others to constructively participate in improving their schools - even in a tightening economy.
See also "Finland Education Success." Thank you to Adair Linn Nagata for sending us this link!

See also experiments in Austria to let pupils paddle on specially adapted ergometers during lessons. The idea of the ergometer class comes from the Viennese sports scientist and high school teacher Martin Jorde, who initiated the first class in 2007 at a Viennese grammar school. He noted positive changes in fitness, but also in grades and social behavior.

See also The Wayfinders (2009 Massey Lecture by Wade Davis, uploaded on November 20, 2011, where Wade Davis author of The Wayfinders at the 2009 Massey Lecture in the Convocation Hall, Toronto, October 31, 2009.

Nature the Best Teacher: Re-Connecting the World’s Children with Nature
Written by Kamran Mofid, 10 April 2015
More than parent and student communities, the teaching fraternity needs to understand that the essential purpose of education is not to enable students to earn a living, but to learn how to live life. As the primal teacher, Mother Nature teaches both the secret of life, which is to respect all life, and also how to live one’s own life in harmony and balance with all creation, exemplified by the manner in which various species of the natural world live in peaceful co-existence.'
'Picture a school where the natural environment becomes the classroom and Nature becomes one of the teachers. Even students who don't exhibit "nature smarts" will become more attuned and connected to the world around them. And as many wise people have said, we can't save something we don't love, and we can't love something we don't know. Don't we owe it to our students to help them develop their naturalist intelligence?'
See also: Louv, Richard (2009). Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature-deficit disorder. London: Atlantic Books.
Kamran recommends:
First video: Project Wild Thing: Producer David Bond, 'A gripping story of the desperate struggle to lead our computer-crazed children back to nature.'
Second video: It's Time to Rewild the Child, ' In this video George Monbiot argues that the more time children spend in the classroom, the worse they do at school because our narrow education system only rewards a particular skill set. He says that when you take failing pupils to the countryside, they often thrive – yet funding for outdoor education is being cut.'

"Making Sense of Place: School-Farm Cooperation in Norway," by Erling Krogh and Linda Jolly (2011)
In: Children, Youth and Environments 21(1): 310-321
Abstract: This paper describes the Norwegian "Living School" national project and its related university extension course, "The Farm as a Pedagogical Resource." Since the national initiative began in the late 1990s, more than 250 separate local projects have been developed through the course. Here we focus on one such project in the community of Aurland. It illustrates the basic principal of "rooting" students in life processes and in the places in which they live through participation in practical, meaningful work outdoors.

Wendell Berry Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium July 1, 1974
Email from the Schumacher Center for a New Economics, schumacher@centerforneweconomics.org, on July 4, 2014:
In his presentation at the 1974 Agriculture for a Small Planet Symposium in Spokane, Washington, Wendell Berry remarked:
 "Few people, whose testimony would have mattered, have seen the connection between the modernization of agricultural techniques and disintegration of the culture and the communities of farming."
 "This community killing agriculture, with its monomania of bigness, is not primarily the work of farmers, though it has burgeoned upon their weaknesses. It is the work of institutions of agriculture, the experts and agribusinessmen who have promoted so-called efficiency at the expense of community and quantity at the expense of quality."
 "In the long run, quantity is inseparable from quality.  To pursue quantity alone is to destroy those disciplines in the producers that are the only assurance of quantity. The preserver of abundance is excellence."
 "Food is a cultural, not a technological, product."
Our thanks to our friends at the Berry Center in Henry County, Kentucky for posting this historic video of Berry's talk.
The Symposium launched the Tilth movement and helped Berry clarify the arguments that led to the 1977 publication of The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture -- one of the most influential books of the past fifty years.
At the 1976 Lindisfarne Fellows meeting Berry read from the extraordinary "The Body and The Earth" chapter of The Unsettling of America. In it he describes the estrangement of the sexes as parallel to our estrangement from the land, and seeks for ways to address that estrangement. Our thanks to William Irwin Thompson, Lindisfarne founder, for permitting us to digitalize and post this and all the other Lindisfarne talks at the Schumacher Center's audio files at archive.org. 
Then in 1981, Wendell Berry spoke at the First Annual E. F. Schumacher Lectures, setting a standard for the series now in its 34th year.  The theme of the Lectures was "People, Land, and Community."  Berry commented that these three were linked in local culture -- a culture that could not be imported.
 "It would begin in work and love. People at work in communities three generations old would know that their bodies renewed, time and again, the movement of other bodies -- living and dead, known and loved, remembered and loved -- in the same shops, houses, and fields. That, of course, is the description of a kind of a community dance. And such a dance is perhaps the best way to describe harmony."
Mark Petz wrote on July 8, 2014: This fits in very much with what organic agriculture does with the IFOAM Principles, where they have Community Supported Agriculture "adapted to the natural rhythm of the seasons and is respectful of the environment, natural and cultural heritage and health." They value cultures through the participatory guarantee schemes, "We consider it essential to recognise local cultures and to preserve traditional know-how, which has always respected nature and favoured a sustainable management of resources."

Culture, Politics & Pedagogy: A Conversation w/ Henry Giroux
Uploaded on 5 Dec 2006
An active citizen, says the prolific and influential Henry Giroux, is "somebody who has the capacity not only to understand and engage the world but to transfom it when necessary, and to believe that he or she can do that." In this provocative new interview, Giroux speaks with passion about the inextricable links between education, civic engagement, and social justice. Strongly influenced by Paulo Freire, the Brazilian scholar of progressive education, Giroux advocates for a pedagogy that challenges inequality, oppression, and fundamentalism. Essential viewing for students of education, cultural studies, and communication.

Alexander Laszlo wrote the following about the institutionalization of life/work/learning in siloed social structures artificially that separate various aspects of productive life: "We go to school to learn (but we are not meant to be productive in a way that earns us money, and we are generally not there for our pleasure or enjoyment), we go to work to productive and earn money (but we are not supposed to spend time learning new things for our professional development, and we are generally not there for our pleasure or enjoyment), and we go on vacations to relax and have fun (but we are not meant to be productive in a way that earns us money, nor are we are not supposed to spend time learning new things for our professional development). Why can we not create institutions where we are productive and earn a living at the same time as we learn new and interesting things that advance us in life and we have fun doing it?" Alexander Laszlo in his contribution to the Great Transition Network Initiative discussion titled “The Struggle for Meaningful Work,” January 28, 2017, in response to Klitgaard, 2017.