Liberation practices in community psychology – a Brazilian view

Slides from seminar by James Ferreira Moura Jr, given at Research Institute for Health and Social Change, Manchester Metropolitan University, March 13th, 2014.
“Theoretical and methodological conceptions in liberation practices in Community Psychology: a Brazilian point of view”
Thanks to James for a fascinating talk and for making available the slides which do give some insight into the distinctive nature of Community Psychology in Ceará over the last 30 years.  Fortaleza, Ceará, is the site of the next International Congress of Community Psychology in September, 2014.



Liberation Psychology in Southern Italy


Memorial to judges murdered by the Camorra located at one of the community projects described in the article.

This article by Alfredo Natale, Catarina Arcidiacono and Salvatore Di Martino, recently appeared (in English) in the Colombian journal Universitas Psychologica.  It is a very intersting application of liberation psychology (and related) concepts and ideas in the challenging context of a Camorra (Neapolitan crime syndicate) – dominated area of Southern Italy.  People who went to the European Community Psychology Congress last autumn had the opportunity to visit the town in question, including a restaurant established using monies confiscated from the Camorra (under Italian law).

The article describes working experiences in relation to empowering activi-
ties, which have been carried out in a local community in the province of
Caserta (in Southern Italy), a place characterized by the widespread pres-
ence of organized criminal groups. In this study, workplace is intended as a
community network aimed at the promotion of coscientization, liberation,
and well-being. Specifically, this paper features initiatives and projects
aimed at establishing new community values through a re-construction of
a work-based social system standing against criminal clans, which tend to
dominate not only economical transactions but also civil life.
Key words: authors Network, social economy, conscientization, collective well-being.
Key words plus: Gomorrah, Criminal Power, De-Growth.

The authors also make the connection between de-growth and conscientisation. De-growth as they note “obliges us to question the concepts of social justice, freedom, health, welfare” and this also happens through the processes of conscientisation and re-signification within the project.  Here then is an example of a community-liberation psychology praxis that prefigures a different model of society where people share and live in peace, rather than the model of endless growth that is underpinned by, and generative of violence of exploitation and the meaningless materialism of consumerism.  As we ate at the restaurant I told some of the other congress participants about our Manchester work on a local Steady State Economy.  At the time the interest and receptiveness people showed in this economic and political work surprised me.  But maybe it shouldn’t and there is a greater connection between these ideas and practices than I had thought.  and maybe it was the inspirational project that we were enabled to vicariously experience that was subliminally making the connections for us all.

What do you think?

Natale, A., Arcidiacono, C., & Di Martino, S. (2013). From “Gomorrah domain” to “Don Peppe Diana lands”. A Southern Italian experience of work-based liberation, community networking, and well-being. Universitas Psychologica, 12(4), 1037–1047. doi:10.11144/6203
Mark Burton

Generating consciousness

I thought you might like to see this photo taken on the May Day march in La Paz,Bolivia.
The banner says: Urus psychology: generating consciousness.
I didn’t  get a chance to talk to them – Urus refers to one of the ethnic groups in Bolivia and possibly also to the department or city of Oruro.
The march itself was actually rather reactionary in relation to the political process in Bolivia, but the banner expresses one of the things liberation psychologists should be aiming for.


I will write something about my encounters with liberation and community psychology in 7 American countries when  I get home in mid May.
Mark Burton