Registration is open for the 6th International Community Psychology Conference

Sixth International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP)
27 – 30 May 2016
International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa

REGISTRATION NOW OPEN 6th International Conference on Community Psychology
Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa
27-30 May 2016
Join us in Global Dialogues on Critical Knowledges, Liberation and Community in
Durban, South Africa in May 2016!Please click here to register; see website for more information.
SincerelyMohamed Seedat, Conference Chair
Shahnaaz Suffla, Conference Co-chair

COnference logoConference leaflet, including call for contributions:  CLICK HERE.

Share

About the Liberation Psychology Network

We’ve updated our “About” page which gives information about the network and its purpose.  It is worth posting it here too.  Why not download the pdf version, print it off and distribute it at your events, put it on the noticeboard, or discuss it with a colleague?

About Liberation Psychology and this network

You can download this as a pdf file for distribution at your event etc.

This international network helps users of English discover and share resources, experiences and new directions in Liberation Psychology.

 Background

Liberation psychology began in Latin America. It drew on currents of radical and critical praxis from that region and beyond and was first proposed by Ignacio Martín-Baró at the Universidad Centroamericana in El Salvador.

Some Liberation Psychology material has appeared in English, but most, including nearly all of Martí- Baró’s work, is only available in Spanish. It deserves being better known by those who do not read Spanish.

Liberation psychology is relevant to the work of psychologists and their allies concerned with oppression and exclusion, social trauma, social movements and resistance in the global South, and in core countries of the world system. Many people use English either as a first language or as their route of access to the international literature.

Latin American liberation psychology has focussed on the particular situation and identity of Latin America but exclusion and exploitation happens everywhere. If the Liberation Psychology of Martín-Baró and other Latin American comrades was the first Liberation Psychology, our world desperately needs a Second Liberation Psychology, not to replace their efforts but to take them further so we have a global Liberation Psychology for the extremely challenging situation that we find ourselves in more than 25 years after Martín Baró’s murder.

The Network:

  • Connects like minded workers, who are often isolated, to share their understandings and practical experience of liberatory approaches and to offer mutual support.

  • Provides access to the key ideas and works of Latin American liberation psychology and kindred approaches.  Our website links and hosts English language works (written as well as audio-visual)  Network members with knowledge of Spanish and/or Portuguese are key bridging resource.

  • Offers a bridge between workers in Latin America and other regions of the global South, and with those in core regions concerned with the “South” in our midst (exploitation, migration, war, (neo-)colonialism and exclusion of the Other).

  • Explores what Liberation Psychology means in contexts other than Latin America.

  • Hosts this web portal and blog which is enabled as a social network, and an email list.  See how to use the site.

The network is what its members make it. The possibilities are only limited by our imagination, energy and willingness to try new ways of doing Liberation Psychology: the constructively practical critical psychology.

Share

New digital collection of Martín Baró’s works

Now available, a digital collection of Ignacio Martín Baró’s writings.  While these will of course mostly be in Spanish, it will be a valuable resource since much of his work is not well known, even in Spanish speaking countries.  This is an initiative of students at his University, The Universidad Centroamericana in San Salvador.  Here is the link to the collection: http://www.uca.edu.sv/coleccion-digital-IMB/

Thanks to Christian Chacón for this information.

 

Share

Call for articles: Ethics, Psychology and War

Ethics, Psychology and War

Special issue

Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology

Abstract submission deadline: December 1st 2015

Full paper submission deadline: March 1st 2016

Edited by

Paul S. Duckett

Serdar M. Değirmencioğlu

Victoria University, Australia

Doğuş University, Turkey

Focus of the special issue

The purpose of this special issue is to respond to the recently published Hoffman Report and invite contributions to the Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology on the topics of war and peace that discuss the past, present and future relationship of Community Psychology to the industrial-military complex. This special issue is open to literature review articles, articles on new empirical and social action projects and theoretical writings and position papers.

Background

Psychology has a long history of working closely with government agencies to help with ‘military problems’. Aptitude and intelligence testing of soldiers, the development of facial recognition software, studies on attitude formation, and motivation studies are just a few of the areas of psychology that have been directly applied, often directly commissioned, by the military. Psychological operations, methods to promote soldier resilience and the development of torture techniques are among the most recent areas where the relationship between psychology and the military continues.

This relationship has now become foregrounded in academic and public debate following the Hoffman Report, which was commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA), the most powerful professional association in psychology. The report portrays the relationship between the military establishment in the US and APA as follows:

In some ways, DoD [Department of Defense] is like a rich, powerful uncle to APA, helping it in important ways throughout APA’s life. Acting independently of a benefactor like this is difficult. (p.72)

The close ties between psychology and the military-industrial establishment in the US and elsewhere so evident for an independent team of lawyers were hardly ever questioned in mainstream psychology.

While mainstream psychology has had a lot to do with war and much of it has been in regard to its promotion, psychology has also had voices committed to the prevention of war. In response to the nuclear brinksmanship engaged in by the US President Regan during the 1980s, a number of groups of psychologists developed to promote peace.

Curiously, Community Psychology appears to have paid rather sparse attention to the topics of war and peace. One might have expected Community Psychology – with its focus on communities, social change, well-being and its value-driven approach – to be well suited to address the impact of war and to take a political and ethical position towards war. However, Community Psychology appears to have been somewhat silent on the subject – at least in its major publishing outputs and in conferences in Australasia, North America and Europe (Değirmencioğlu, 2010; Duckett 2005). War appears to have remained a rather subsidiary topic in Community Psychology and there has been little, if any, political or ethical analysis of the subject (Değirmencioğlu & Duckett, forthcoming). One might conclude that it is difficult to know what the ethical stance of a community psychologist might be to the topic of war. This Special Issues will address this apparent deficit.

Submission process and deadlines

For this special issue we warmly welcome contributions from community and applied social psychology. We invite detailed abstracts (max. 500 words or 2 pages) indicating the potential contribution. The most relevant and promising abstracts will be selected for further development into full manuscripts (7000 words).

All manuscripts will be blind peer-reviewed. Abstracts and manuscripts should be submitted via the JCASP online system (http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/casp), with a cover letter identifying that they are for the special issue on ethics, psychology and war. Normal JCASP guidelines for authors apply.

Further information on this special issue can be obtained from paul.ducket(AT)vu.edu.au.

Share

New events: course on disasters and 6th Int Conf of Community Psychology

Course: PSYCHOLOGY IN SITUATIONS OF CRISIS, EMERGENCY AND DISASTER

14-16 December, 2015:  HAVANA – CUBA

Course poster     Course information leaflet

____________________________________________________________

Sixth International Conference on Community Psychology (ICCP)
27 – 30 May 2016
International Convention Centre, Durban, South Africa

COnference logoConference leaflet, including call for contributions:  CLICK HERE.

Share

Liberation Psychology: another kind of critical psychology

Some of the contents

Some of the contents

Published this month is the Routledge Handbook of Critical Psychology at the silly price of £140 (or USDollars 225).  It is edited by Ian Parker.

It includes a chapter by me (Mark Burton – Manchester, UK) and Luis Gómez (Costa Rica): Liberation Psychology: Another Kind Of Critical Psychology.  In it we firmly locate liberation psychology within the long term de-colonial movement. Other chapters from colleagues involved in aspects of liberationist psychology include:
Indigenous Psychologies and Critical-Emancipatory Psychology Narcisa Paredes-Canilao, Ma. Ana Babaran-Diaz, Ma. Nancy B. Florendo and Tala Salinas-Ramos with S. Lily Mendoza
Postcolonial Theory: Towards A Worlding of Critical Psychology
Desmond Painter
From Critical Disability Studies To Critical Global Disability Studies Shaun Grech
Political Psychology and the American Continent: From Colonization and Domination to Liberation and Emancipation
Raquel S. L. Guzzo
and
Critical Psychology in the Arab World: Insights from Critical Community Psychology in the Palestinian Colonial Context
Ibrahim Makkawi

I haven’t read the chapters other than our own, and there is a lot of what I’d call academic critical psychology and a lot on discourse, deconstruction and psychoanalysis (for all of which I’ve little enthusiasm).  But it is something you might ask your library to order, and here’s a form to do so.

I’m also happy to supply a re-publication draft of our chapter if you write to me via the contact page.

 

Share

Toward Psychologies of Liberation / Hacia Psicologías de Liberación

Mary Watkins and Helene Shulman announce the Spanish translation of Toward Psychologies of Liberation. We are grateful to Montserrat Chanivet Marabot for this translation.  Please share this with others you think might be interested.

​You can download the translation for free at http://mary-watkins.net/books/
Share

Liberation Psychology: 25 years on. A poem for Ignacio Martín-Baró

Lambs of God
(for my professor Ignacio Martín-Baró, written by Eugenia Castro)
The silence of the night
was broken in pieces
by the engines of the Cherokees.
The ground was trembling
with horror and grief
at malign and evil steps
The grass tried to stop them!
and impotent flowers screamed
calling help from heaven…
Shut up!!!
Angered boots squashed them
and a scarf of silence
covered the petals on the ground.
A cry of sorrow came from the trees
saying as a chorus:
You do not belong to us,
bloody thief, you robbed
my colors, colors of life.
They did not stop;
blind and deaf by the flag
dumb and brutalized by the march,
drugged by warrior words,
legacy from Malinche and Ladino past.
The door was raped.
without defence let them pass
the nightmare begun:
Time-space, space-reason
reason-time, space-time.
People’s chorus
Question answered ever since,
question answered by Arnulfo
to the wing – from East to West.
Answer known by all.
Answer given by the 7 lambs.
The other chorus:
The master plan was in time.
-American watches are exact-
you know how famous these watches are.
You know time is money,
and money is never enough.
Who are you on my road?!
A repeated story, started again:
The Antithesis against Lambs.
Darkness against light and brightness.
Aliens against kind Masters.
Violence against non-violence.
A repeated story ended again,
again, again, again… and again.
The day was over…
new Martyrs from the Calvary
as splinters in our hearts.
We are with you loved Lambs
God’s people, Lambs of God.
Con una rafaga de tiros ellos silenciaron tus labios Padre Nacho,
mas nosotros siguimos contigo cantando y gritando
“Tu sabes que esto no es justo”
Padre Nacho, with a spray of bullets they silenced your lips
but we continue with you; singing and screaming:
“You know this is not right”. 

Ana Eugenia Castro is a psychologist from EL Salvador, who lives and works in Australia. Her approach is within the social psychology of liberation and integrates different therapies, including existential, systemic, and creative arts-based approaches.

Share

Liberation Psychology: 25 years on. Some further materials.

1) On our videos page, we have added an audio recording of an interview with Martín-Baró from 1988.  In it he speaks of the circumstances under which he was working, including a wider political analysis of the Salvadorean conflict, the impact of torture and repression, and his survival of terrorist attacks on the University.  Thanks to Brinton Lykes for making this available.

2) Brinton is also the co-founder of the Martín-Baró Fund, which makes funding available to “grassroots groups throughout the world who are challenging institutional repression and confronting the mental health consequences of violence and injustice in their communities.”  Their current newsletter “The Just Word” has several articles (including a rare piece in English byElizabeth Lira from Chile) about Nacho and his impact, you can download it here.

3) Bruce Levine, another network member has also published an article to mark the 25th anniversary of Martín-Baró’s murder.  He reflects on the collusion of the American (sic) Psychological Association with the torture programme in occupied Guantánamo, (depicted in this film) noting that

“Liberation psychology – which Martin-Baró helped popularize – challenges adjustment to an unjust societal status quo and energizes oppressed people to resist injustices.”

You can read Bruce’s piece in “Truth Out” here.

4) Finally, about 12 years ago, when, with some difficulty, I got my copies of the two Cover A and Ivolumes of Martín-Baró’s “Psicología desde Centroamérica”, I translated the prologues and summaries for my own use.  A revised version of my translation of the Prologue to volume 1, “Acción e Ideología” is available on request.  This prologue gives a very clear account of his project to reconstruct social psychology, from the perspective of the peoples of Central America.  Please treat these notes for what they are, an initial translation without any review or other checks.  It is a great shame that more of Nacho’s work has not been translated into other languages to give a wider audience access to the breadth and depth of his work.  The translation is available, HERE, for personal use.

 

Share

Liberation Psychology: 25 years on. Imagining Ignacio Martín-Baró and Steve Bantu Biko in conversation.

IMAGINING IGNACIO MARTIN-BARO AND STEVE BANTU BIKO IN CONVERSATION ABOUT IMAGINATION – Mohamed Seedat

Ignacio Martín-Baró and Steve Bantu Biko
Ignacio Martín-Baró and Steve Bantu Biko

Today, 16 November marks the 25th anniversary of the killing of Ignacio Martín-Baró, the founder of Liberation Psychology in Latin America, along with 5 other priest-academics and two women workers by the Salvadorean army at their residence on the campus of the Unversidad de Centroamérica, San Salvador.  It is fitting that today we bring you a typically beautifully written piece by Mohamed Seedat, in which he draws parallels between the work of Martín-Baró and Steve Biko, prominent leader in the Black Consciousness movement in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.

Mohamed himself wrote a landmark piece (1) in which he independently set out the principles of a liberation psychology in the context of his region.  Although I had known of his work for some years, it seems harshly appropriate that I should have met him for the first time last year in occupied Palestine, where all the practices of racist domination, and resistance, are there to witness.  The tools that Nacho and Steve left us are there to use in the many regions, countries, towns, villages and micro-spaces where oppression is the daily reality, and resistance is everyday praxis.  He particularly focusses on the reproduction of the daily practices of exclusion of the ‘other’, by those in positions of relative power in post-colonial societies like South Africa, noting the emotional labour required of the oppressed to do simple things like make use of public services – although I was reminded of the way class oppression operates in many of my own country’s public service systems.

As Mohamed notes,

“For Martín-Baró and Biko social transformation and liberation were about confronting exclusionary social structures and dehumanizing policies as well as internalized oppressive scripts, structured by dominant ideologies and discourses of superiority…..

“I return to imagining Biko and Martín-Baró in deep conversation to help us make sense of the raging anger, the burnings and the crass markers of success entrenched and perpetuated by the ruling and economic elites in post-colonial societies? They ponder: what are our people really burning? What is the psychology of the post-colonial elite that reproduces dominance with the support of the ruling and avaricious classes in Washington, London, Paris, Moscow and Beijing? What should people struggling for freedom in all its forms really burn and what is worth igniting, preserving and growing? “

You can read the full piece HERE

Mohamed Seedat holds several positions at the University of South Africa, Pretoria (details in the article’s footnote).  He and his colleagues will be hosting the 6th International Congress of Community Psychology in 2016.

reference
(1) Seedat, M. (1997). The quest for liberatory psychology. South African Journal of Psychology, 27(4), 261–270. doi:10.1177/008124639702700410

Mark Burton, 16 November, 2014 (file updated with corrections, 19/11/14)

Share