New Paradigm

Publication: Harvest in Times of Drought

This post comes to you from Cultura21

Harvest in Times of Drought – cultivating pedagogies of life for sustainable communities

Voices of the country

In the following lines, the book Harvest in Times of Drought is presented and offered for download (please find the download link at the bottom of the post). This publication is about creative education in Brasil that can generate social transformation and sustainability.

Brasil is one of the countries that is hit hard by the consequences of the industrialization in form of sharp inequalities, uprooting communicide and ecological upheaval. It has reached a threshold between a terrifying drought and a reflexive dawn. The task is to create on time a global project capable of cultivating a new paradigm of cooperation and sustainable community instead of competition.

Children and young people are seriously affected, because it is their future that is at stake. They already seek refuge in industrialized foods, virtual communities and paradises of self-consumption. Their parents feel powerless and can not point out alternative, aware that these will not resolve our crisis of civilization. A way must be found in order to create a new human performance of care, co-responsibility and solidarity, not just with others, but with ourselves, and with the future.

Every intervention and learning method must be based on pluricultural respect and transcultural care. Alternative experiences of social beauty and ethical self-respect can be offered and inspired by new as well as ancient pedagogies.

The aim is to create self-confidence to intervene in all human spaces and enable people to read and transform our cultural reflexes and political imagination. In order to avoid the reproduction of the violating past in the future, Harvest in Times of Drought roots the educative and transformative potentials of the artistic languages in the wisdoms of the land, the forest and the rivers of the Amazon to contribute to a proposal adaptable to any neighborhood, school and social organization.

The outcome after a seven years collaboration of Dan Baron (author of Cultural Literacy and co-founder of the World Alliance for Arts Education) and Manoela Souza (co-founder of the Brazilian Network of Arteducators) is this  pedagogic resource and collective artwork. Fifty rural pedagogues and community leaders from the Federal University of Pará, Marabá, contributed their share to book in form of life stories, poems, songs and visual as well as pedagogic narratives.
The book is dedicated to Maria do Espirito Santo da Silva, eco-pedagogue, popular educator, extractor, grandmother and co-author of this collective book, who was assassinated with her partner, José Ribeiro da Silva near their forest settlement in northern Brazil, where they were fighting for the protection of the forest and cultures of the Amazon.


Part 1 is a collection of poems and short-stories. This collection introduces and contextualizes the book’s pedagogic proposal.

Part 2 presents this proposal, based on a dialogue between knowledges, accompanied by a photo-narrative, and includes reflections from the participants who tested, refined and developed the proposal.

Part 3 records a dual process of transition. It dramatizes the challenge of sustaining this pedagogic proposal inside a university, in response to the key questions about complicity and resistance to the new. It lays the foundations of an artistic-pedagogic (aesthetic) project.

Part 4 is the pedagogic proposal in action, education as a transformational aesthetic project and it also contains a pedagogic Charter of Principles.

The final Part 5 contains the lyrics of the CD that accompanies this book.

Download the online version of the book (PDF file) for free:

Harvest in Times of Drought – Colheita em Tempos de Seca

Cultura21 is a transversal, translocal network, constituted of an international level grounded in several Cultura21 organizations around the world.

Cultura21′s international network, launched in April 2007, offers the online and offline platform for exchanges and mutual learning among its members.

The activities of Cultura21 at the international level are coordinated by a team representing the different Cultura21 organizations worldwide, and currently constituted of:

– Sacha Kagan (based in Lüneburg, Germany) and Rana Öztürk (based in Berlin, Germany)
– Oleg Koefoed and Kajsa Paludan (both based in Copenhagen, Denmark)
– Hans Dieleman (based in Mexico-City, Mexico)
– Francesca Cozzolino and David Knaute (both based in Paris, France)

Cultura21 is not only an informal network. Its strength and vitality relies upon the activities of several organizations around the world which are sharing the vision and mission of Cultura21

Go to Cultura21

Call For Papers for Special Issue on Culture and Sustainable Communities

Culture and Local Governance / Culture et Gouvernance Locale
Deadline for submission of papers: May 1, 2010

Guest Editors: Nancy Duxbury (Centre for Social Studies at the University of Coimbra, Portugal) and M. Sharon Jeannotte (Centre on Governance, University of Ottawa, Canada)

In the face of growing environmental and economic urgencies, issues of sustainability and resiliency are moving to the forefront of planning, policy, and programs in cities and communities of all sizes. City planning paradigms are mutating from a focus on building ‘creative cities’ to that of achieving ‘sustainable cities.’ Internationally, this shift is evident among local governments adopting sustainability goals for towns, cities, and regions; creating sustainable community plans; and implementing community projects related to ‘sustainable development.’ Yet cultural considerations, while recognized in urban and community planning contexts, are not integrated into sustainability planning in a widespread way.

Where are cultural considerations in this new paradigm/framework? How might culture be incorporated and situated within sustainability planning and related initiatives? How should cultural planning adapt to this increasingly dominant paradigm and context?

Potential contributors are invited to submit an article (maximum 5,000 words) by May 1, 2010 to Nancy Duxbury at


Nancy Duxbury, PhD
Centro de Estudos Sociais (CES) | Centre for Social Studies
Associate Laboratory, School of Economics
University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal

The Berlin Wall and other falling dominos

Upright Figure No 7, 1970, Berlin, by my uncle René Graetz

I grew up in a world in which East was East and West was West. People operated in separate realities that seemed absolute, even if they were only four decades old.

I had an aunt and uncle – both artists – and cousins living in East Berlin. When we visited them it felt like another world. In some ways it was.

This week we remember the fall of the Berlin wall. In space of two months between now and the New Year a world suddenly changed. The entire Eastern Bloc fell apart as the Eastern economy crumbled and the popular desire for change ripped the old accommodations to shreds.

Though both my uncle and aunt had been famous artists in the East, friends and collaborators of Brecht’s, the world they existed in was swept aside. Their considerable reputations vanished overnight as the communist East was absorbed into the free West. Not only was the cultural structure that supported their work suddenly swept aside, the work itself seemed suddenly old-fashioned and irrelevant in the new paradigm. The fundamentals changed within the blink of an eye.

We are living in a world of old assumptions that are about to be knocked apart. Today’sGuardian leads on the remarkable story that a whistleblower in the International Energy Agency claims that the IEA has been fudging its figures to keep oil prices low. The facts of the story aren’t what are remarkable. Scientists have been discussing peak oil for years; what is signficant is that the IEA, who for years have been producing figures which make little sense, is finally starting to show signs of cracking. Supplies, say the whistleblower, will struggle to meet a low target 90 – 95 million barrels of oil a day in the next few years. “We have already entered the ‘peak oil’ zone,” says the source.

The Transition Town movement has for years asked serious questions about how we will live in the post-peak oil world. It is an optimistic viewpoint, looking to the positives of what a new era can bring. Of course it has remained largely a fringe movement, its policies given a lukewarm welcome by the administration but almost entirely ignored. In Britain we still have no serious plan to make the most of the coming paradigm shift.

Rising oil prices will mean massive changes in our culture and society. We are used to imagining ourselves only as part of the triumphant West. We were, until recently at least, theend of history. What if right now we’re more like the old East whose fall was said to create history’s end? If oil prices rise as fast as may predict, like the fall of the Berlin wall, they will catch everyone by surprise and sweep much of what we know aside unless we start getting our heads round what’s about to happen.

We will look back, like the marooned men of the old regime and wonder how come we didn’t see that coming.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology