For some, citizenship is primarily about ‘being’ – our nationality for example, which affords us legal rights and protections. For others (often governments) it is more about ‘doing’ – performing our civic responsibility, paying our taxes, obeying the law, being economically self-sufficient. However, citizenship must also be a critical process – carefully considering our own actions, society’s actions and governments’ actions.
Paulo Freire argues that praxis is key to bringing about social change; praxis being a deliberative process of both reflection and action. Reflection without action results in an ‘armchair revolution’, whilst action without reflection leads to ‘pure activism’ which is incapable of bringing about lasting change (Freire, 1972, 66). Social change comes through praxis: a continuous cycle of reflection, action and then further reflection.
The maxim ‘Think Global, Act Local’ fits well with Freire’s theory. We need to acknowledge that we live in a ‘global village’ and that we have to change our understanding of the world and how we should act as citizens within it.
Critical citizen Warner
Critical citizen Warner is a long-standing political activist who has been fighting for social and environmental justice for the past 30 years. She is a PhD student at Loughborough University. Her research considers the relationship between community art and critical citizenship, particularly focusing on arts ability to contribute to bringing about social change.
Response: Think Global Act Local Workshop At Timber Festival
Sue Warner led a workshop for ThinkGlobal Acl Local at the Timber festival in Ashby de la Zouch, UK. For more information see here.