Taking the position of social movements, and other progressive forces in the overall global balance of forces into account, the strategy of the Peoples Dialogue is about the politics and strategy of the possible. The Peoples Dialogue was constructed as a platform that brings together real people living and working in concrete societies on the basis of inter-dependence and citizen action. It does not aim to impose the same models of analysis and action everywhere, but to build solidarity in diversity and how to translate such diversity into a platform for public debate and common action.
Strengthening the space to dialogue
Dialogue is the methodology to build a common set of knowledge on political language, analysis, strategies and agenda. Constituted by a wide range of organisations, Peoples Dialogue is a space for ongoing dialogues, interchange and exchange between a diversity of participants: Latin Americans, Africans, social movements, NGOs, professionals, and academics. It is informed by principles of open dialogue. Most importantly, it is a space to also deepen a feminist dialogue amongst movements and activists.
In Paulo Freire’s work, dialogue is the interaction between people who critically think about the world together. When people are in dialogue with one another, they have equal agency, and no person has power over the other. Based on an attempt to follow the legacy of the popular, participatory and emancipatory methodology inspired by Freire and the work of other popular educators of our continents, each meeting, whether debating one or several central themes, also branches out to address other issues. The People’s Dialogue is a place for multi-level debate that also tries to strategically discuss each aspect that interests the participants, according to their praxis.
The praxis criteria
The praxis criteria is crucial because the themes chosen for each meeting are based on what movements are working on, and the struggles they are engaged in. Questions are used as the basis for starting a discussion, in an attempt to try to understand and consider our own subjectivities, the objective reality we are enmeshed in, and define possible avenues for political action. All of this is part of the effort to carry out meetings from a dialogical perspective, that accounts for the differences and similarities of our historical experiences.
Direct exchange of experiences and reflection through activities
Each meeting has supported the direct exchange of experiences and reflection through activities that involved the direct participation of attendees work in regional groups (continent and mixed), plenary sessions and thematic groups, depending on the objectives. Presentations by researchers or NGO representatives about some of the key themes of each event complemented them.
Dialogue as a Methodology
The 2019 Southern African People’s Solidarity Network Summit (Dar es Salam, Tanzania, 13-17 August 2019) was attended by delegates from Southern African Region. Themed Rebuilding People’s Movements within Southern Africa’s [ … ]