Asunción Molinos Gordo and Munir Fasheh talk about the importance of living and learning in community, always keeping in mind one’s context and roots, the need to recognize ourselves as co-authors of meaning, the impossibility of using the main tool of colonization – education – as a tool of decolonization, and the role of institutions in the destruction of communities and how we can reverse this process.
According to Munir Fasheh, institutions are needed in a very limited way, “at the level of the branches and what is visible. At the roots, where life is constantly regenerating (but is less visible), institutions are often detrimental.” Mujaawarah nurtures the roots; it nurtures people at the personal and community level; it is a tool in the hands of the people.
Their vision is based on the blending of mujaawarah and wellbeing: mujaawarah as the “adobe” in community building and wellbeing as the governing value. Forming a mujaawarah and the meaning of well-being are the responsibility of individuals, in harmony with their context, convictions and conversations.
Their approach is based on the blending of mujaawarah and wellbeing: mujaawarah as the “adobe” in community building and wellbeing as the governing value. Forming a mujaawarah and the meaning of wellbeing are the responsibility of individuals, in harmony with their context, convictions and conversations. Well-being at the roots is nurtured by three soils: land-nature, culture-knowledge-spiritual soil, and community-economic soil. In Arabic, they use the same word for storytelling and watering plants (narwee نروي), meaning that the ancient Arabs saw the connection between nurturing minds/thoughts and nurturing bodies/plants.
Asunción Molinos Gordo also transcends the concept of institution and generates horizontal ties. To illustrate this, we recover her project “De campesino A Campesino”, which consisted in facilitating a meeting between Spanish and Cuban farmers under the pedagogical methodology De Campesino A Campesino, which is mainly used to transmit and produce agroecological knowledge. It was conceived by the Nicaraguan peasantry and popularized by the Cuban peasantry during the special period. The most transgressive and significant element of this methodology is that it breaks with the vertical hierarchy of the technician or engineer who arrives in the field to teach what should be done to the “ignorant peasant” and on the contrary places the peasant in the position of expert, bringing his knowledge to the same level of importance and consideration.
Asunción Molinos Gordo 1979, Aranda de Duero, Burgos, Spain) is a researcher and visual artist. The main focus of her work is the contemporary peasantry. Her understanding of the figure of the small or medium farmer is not only limited to that of food producer but also to that of cultural agent, responsible for both perpetuating traditional knowledge and generating new expertise to face current challenges. He works from a perspective strongly influenced by anthropology, sociology and cultural studies. She also reflects on land use, nomadic architecture, peasant strikes, bureaucracy over territory, the transformation of rural labor, biotechnology and international food trade. Asunción Molinos Gordo won the Sharjah Biennial Prize in 2015 with her project WAM (World Agriculture Museum) and participated in the XIII Havana Biennial in 2019. He has exhibited in institutions such as Art Jameel, Dubai, UAE; IVAM, Valencia, Spain; Delfina Foundation, London; Victoria and Albert Museum, London; CCA, Glasgow; Museo Carrillo Gil, Mexico, MUSAC de León; CAB de Burgos; Matadero Madrid; La Casa Encendida, Madrid; Centro de Arte Dos de Mayo, Madrid; The Townhouse Gallery, Cairo, Egypt; Arnolfini Arts, Bristol, UK; Tranzit, Prague, Czech Republic; Cappadox Festival, Uchisar-Turkey; The Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki; Museo de Arte de Zapopan MAZ, among others.
Munir Fasheh (1941, Jerusalem) is one of the best known Palestinian learning theorists and practitioners. Fasheh works in an active network of theorists and practitioners that spans the global South, from India to South Africa to Mexico. Fasheh has focused on the learning and use of mathematics in community contexts. His work has been shaped by indigenous and Arabic educational traditions. He taught mathematics and physics at Birzeit University in Palestine. Based in Ramallah, Fasheh founded the Tamer Institute for Community Education during the first Intifada as a center for developing out-of-school learning environments in Palestine. He also founded the Arab Education Forum (AEF) at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University in 1997 and directed it for ten years.