Who is Freire?
Born in 1921 Brazil , he was an educator and philosopher whose work has influenced the education sector and many other communities.
Why Freire ?
Freire developed an approach to education that links the identification of issues to positive action for change and development. Fragmentation in society allows a hierarchy to exist, resulting in many oppressed communities and individuals. According to Freire, the oppressed are quite often the minority. However, what is problematic when trying to move forward is the fact that the oppressed are most often oblivious to the issues that indirectly afflicts them. On the flip side of oblivion, even when the oppressed are aware and try to move out of suppression, the oppressors device new forms of ‘manipulation’ to keep them in control. Freire however suggests that the oppressed being their own example in the struggle for their redemption equates to an act of liberation.
At present, it could be said that many don’t follow the latter and remain oppressed due to being inured to their ‘prescriptive’ life or afraid of rebelling. However, it is through the previously mentioned, modelling of one’s self as the oppressed – that allows the questioning of one’s present state of existence in the world. Hence liberation is not simply a reflection but a course of actions working towards progress.
Oppression to me however, does not only exist between the individual and society but also within an individual and their consciousness. This could be due to an increased presence of societal pressure, often making one forget that an individual has the right to be in control of their “self”.
The 21st century has brought an array of development in technology, but has society managed to keep up?
Today, technology allows communication to take place in a matter of seconds. However society still continues to push seemingly archaic expectations on others. Today, the choices of certain individuals or even differences in appearance are yet to be respected by many. Hence, naturally, a majority in society are still (and in some areas – increasingly), self conscious about a part of their identity – in some way or another. To eradicate a stereotype or label may seem a daunting task, however, to change one’s self to please another would only pro-long one’s oppressed stated. This is as to do so involves to lose an aspect his/her identity merely to satisfy another.
Truthfully, you cannot satisfy everyone in this life time, but you Deserve to be YOU here on Earth.
To be liberated therefore is then to resist trying to please society and partake in questioning your existence with the world. Comprehending one’s self, is what I believe would allow one’s mind to open to others who are different. This comprehension is what I believe would also open a mind to identify the oppressed; to empathise ; to work towards equality ; to ensure there is justice.
Creating an equal world
It’s not a utopia that is impossible, it, (like all things successful) needs work!
However, this too requires a collective effort of laying a foundation, building and connecting people – as much as society has done with infrastructure and technology.
Oppression in this light therefore can be viewed as a problem that comes with a solution- but a solution that needs work.