Educom and Paulo Freire: building popular communication,

“When I grow up I want to be Paulo Freire”. This sentence was said by a child of about 10 years old, when asked what he dreamed of for his future.

The boy participated in a space of the “Educom.rádio” project, run by the Communication and Education Center of the University of São Paulo (USP). That day the project was developing education and communication work with a group of children and they asked what they wanted to be when they grow up.

The child’s words enchanted and continue to echo in the dreams of Professor Ismar Soares, one of the founders of the Licentiate Degree in Educommunication at USP.

“He was understanding everything. He had in his imagination a revolutionary. He wanted to be the revolutionary. Certainly he didn’t want to be the image of the old man who was there, he was wanting the image of a leader and he wanted to be that leader. And this multiplies. Children who want to be Paulo Freire multiply. We need to make room for these children.”

This Sunday, September 19, celebrated the 100th anniversary of the birth of the educator, philosopher and patron of Brazilian education, Paulo Freire.

His life was fundamentally dedicated to education and literacy, but beyond that, Freire was responsible for creating a revolutionary method of philosophy and pedagogy.

Based on the construction of a critical vision, on dialectics, on the intrinsic approach to the reality of students and on the dialogue between theory and practice, Paulo Freire, during his 75 years of life, built, together with social movements in Brazil and the world, ways to break and overcome educational barriers to the domination of peoples.

What is Educommunication?

One of the areas rooted in Freire’s postulates is educommunication, a field of study and practice aimed at dialogue between the areas of communication and education.

Its development stems from processes that are based on media education, democratic media management, the production of educational content and the use of various forms of media in teaching-learning processes. All of this with a view to further entrenching democracy and expanding popular participation in communicative processes.

“The construction of the concept, which was later called ‘Educommunication’, initially did not have a special name, but gained the designation of popular education, alternative communication, mobilization for the democratization of communication”, as Soares explains.

With a historical root in Latin American social movements, educommunication has gained space and voice both in Brazil and internationally. And many of its theoretical structures and practical methods are based on the pillars of Paulo Freire’s praxis.

Along with the ideas and practices of Latin Americans such as those of popular communicator and radio broadcaster Mário Kaplún, Freire’s ideals structurally constitute educommunication.

For Professor Ismar Soares, Paulo Freire’s work and educommunication were born simultaneously.

“Freire’s contribution was precisely to allow people involved in communication and education, from a libertarian perspective, to reflect on their practice. So Paulo Freire was not a theorist who appeared and wrote a great work and left a great legacy and from that, people were inspired by him. He was someone who, together with the social movement, was building practices, analyzing practices and enabling people to reflect on their practices”.

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The professor also states that Paulo Freire transformed every educommunicator into a philosopher, as this subject must start from the process of a dialectical reflection on praxis.

“When international columnists, international researchers, when reading Paulo Freire and observing the educommunicative movement, discovered that there was a connection between Freire’s thought and educommunicative action. So it wasn’t simply a media education project aimed at the media. But it was a movement around the libertarian communicative process, from the perspective of deep social transformation proposed by Freire”.

An example of this transformation is taking place in the life of young Ricardo Boa Sorte, who lives in Lençóis, in Chapada Diamantina, Bahia.

He participates in the educommunicative actions of the so-called TiVi Griô, a WebTV and Film Club based on pedagogical principles. Furthermore, Ricardo participates in formations that favor reflective processes on identities, territorialities and ancestry.

Thus, the artist and educommunicator affirms that educommunicative practices favor, for example, identifying colonialism today, in addition to the search for more knowledge in the area.

“It ended up bringing critical things also related to exploration, for example. It was when diamond exploration ended, that came the exploration of tourism, which is another type of exploration. Who are the miners of today? Who are the colonels of today? How Is there this working relationship between employee and employer, boss and employee? Anyway, but that’s it. It woke me up to do more research. Be closer to those guys who are studying communication. Read more books about”.

Prominence of the oppressed

The search for a change in colonialism can be seen from several Freirean perspectives, one of which is the culture of silence. In this postulate, the patron of education theorizes, for example, that a colonizer will impose his stories and narratives on a colonized, silenced person.

For this reason, communicator Kaká Nascimento, who lives in Campina Grande, Paraíba, defends educommunication as a form of ‘noises’ to make the oppressed people stand out.

“The Freirean practice converts silence into the right to speak into the right to communicate. We talk about how educommunicative actions, especially those provided by the popular milieu, the popular field, social organizations, play a role to deconstruct this society of silence, which was an imposition of upper-class minorities in relation to popular majorities” .

And starting from the idea that this entire process, both in education and in communication, lives in a constant dispute between projects of domination versus liberation, we also talk about the possibility of combating fake news based on media education from childhood and about the world what we want for the future.

: Listen: Hope with Paulo Freire: children reflect on the thinker’s legacy at Radinho BdF

For Ismar, “Educommunication is the main weapon in the attack on fake news. It has the formation of new generations with a view to welcoming this world under an ethic of truth, of the right to expression, the ethic of open and anti-dictatorial ecosystems”.

“We always understand that children in kindergarten, pre-teens will receive knowledge. But these babies, these children, these teenagers are the owners of the land. We adults are leaving a land for them. Or not. Children need to say what country they want for them. That is, the mobilization of children in favor of a culture of peace, in favor of a culture of development, in favor of a national mobilization, needs to be done”.

Liberating proposals are still resisted today, just as Paulo Freire himself had to go into exile during the military dictatorship. During the interview with Brazil in fact, for example, professor Ismar recalled articles published in the hegemonic media, which blame Paulo Freire for the delay in national education.

“The liberal world was contested by Paulo Freire even at a time when the term neoliberal was not even used. So the Freirean philosophy, it, politically, opposes liberalism as it is conceived. So he has a political perspective. There is no doubt about that. So Paulo Freire had a political option. And in this case, those who do not share this political position see in Freire an ideologue that must be taken out of the children’s view, from the view of those who might be influenced by him. And in this case, we are, facing a clash. It’s a clash between those who think about education, social life, culture in a privatist and selectist perspective and those who are defending a higher quality social life for all”.

Edition: Anelize Moreira

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