Theses defended

Pedagogia da Articulação: A Universidade Popular dos Movimentos Sociais e a ecologia de saberes na prática

Fabio André Diniz Merladet

Public Defence date
July 20, 2020
Doctoral Programme
Post-Colonialisms and Global Citizenship
Boaventura de Sousa Santos e Sara Araújo
Inspired by epistemologies of the South, popular education, and postcolonial perspectives, this thesis is about the Popular University of Social Movements (UPMS), a counter-hegemonic experience of university proposed in January 2003, during the 3rd edition of the World Social Forum. The UPMS defines itself as a common good of social movements in the struggle for another possible world and constitutes a space for deepening reflection, democratic debate of ideas, formulation of proposals, free exchange of experiences and dialogue and articulation for effective actions by local, national and global activists, intellectuals, artists, entities, organizations and social movements who oppose neoliberalism, colonialism, patriarchy and all forms of oppression. A pedagogical, epistemological and political experience of reciprocal intelligibility between social struggles, the collective production of counter-hegemonic knowledge and the articulation of the diversity of knowledge and practices that rise in favor of dignity.

From the questioning about the ability of the UPMS to contribute to the construction of an ecology of knowledge in practice, this thesis seeks to understand if the UPMS enables the plural, horizontal and democratic participation of counter-hegemonic experiences in the world, as well as the learning and articulation between them. Through the sociology of absences are analyzed the methods, processes, practices, dynamics and interactions of the UPMS that until now had less visibility; and through the sociology of emergences the UPMS evaluates what still latently exists as a possibility for the future. I therefore refer to the term pedagogy of articulation to indicate the specific form that educational practice takes in UPMS workshops.

The thesis is structured in two parts: the first analyzes the political (World Social Forum), theoretical (critical anti-imperial efforts), epistemological (epistemologies of the South) and pedagogical (popular education) foundations that underlie the UPMS, as well as the singularities, innovations and possible contributions of the UPMS in relation to them and the debates and challenges they raise. A methodological discussion does the transition between the two parts, describing the paths, objectives, hypotheses and methodological options of the research carried out. In the second part, the UPMS practices are approached through the recovery of its history, the reciprocal learning of its workshops, the collective productions that arise from it and the ways of articulation that it enables. Finally, by way of conclusion, the challenges and utopias of the UPMS are pointed out, aiming to contribute to the debate about the future of the experience.

Keywords: pedagogy of articulation; epistemologies of the South; ecology of knowledges; popular education; social movements