Liberation Psychology: 25 years on. Ignacio Martín Baró’s example and its impact.

pic for Taiwo's piece

The People Need Homes: Focus E15 Mothers struggle for the right to decent affordable housing in London where poor people are being ‘priced out’ by the logic of the housing price bubble market.

Here is the second in our series of pieces to commemorate the murder of Ignacio Martín Baró in November, 1989.  It is by Taiwo Afuape who is a  clinical psychologist and systemic therapist working in mental health services for children and for adults where she lives, in London.  She reflects on what Martín Baró and Liberation Psychology means for her, linking this to contemporary social, political and economic struggles in the UK where despite being a rich country we have extreme and increasing inequality, exploitation and oppression while helping inflict these things on other regions.  Taiwo makes particular reference to her Nigerian heritage and her family, reminding us that the personal is politics, just as the psychological is also political, while the political is both personal and psychological too.

Read Taiwo’s piece HERE

This month also sees the appearance of an article by Wayne Dykstra Liberation psychology – a history for the future.  Wayne, who comes from the United States, but is researching Liberation Psychology’s diffusion in Dublin, particularly focusses on the solidarity extended to Martín Baró and the Salvadorian struggle by a number of North American psychologists, including Adrianne Aron who provided the first piece in libpsy.org’s 25 years on series.  At our request the piece has been made open access.

Also in that issue is a very interesting set of articles on Turkish social psychologist Muzafer Sherif, and his collaborator Carolyn Sherif.  Like Martín Baró, Sherif sought to construct a non-individualistic social psychology, relating human action not to some internal ‘human nature’ but to the social context, itself constructed historically.  The articles, also openly accessible, give some important background information on Sherif and his work, in the context of struggles against fascism and rampant capitalism. See:  Camps, conflict and collectivism;  The unknown Muzafer Sherif and The view from the boys. Retrieving Sherif’s seminal work is very relevant to today’s development of a truly social psychology – one that liberates and is itself liberated.

 

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