Think Piece: Learning, Living and Leading into Transgression – A reflection on decolonial praxis in a neoliberal world
Three scholar activists from South Africa reflect on what it means to transgress the limits of a neoliberal world and its crisis times, particularly considering transgressions in the service of a decolonial future. The authors explore three questions: i) What kind of learning can help us transgress the status quo? ii) How do we extend this learning into a commitment to actively living in transgressive ways? iii) What does it mean to lead in ways that re-generate a transgressive ethic in a neoliberal world? In a dialogical conversation format, the authors outline nine different but interconnected perspectives on learning, living and leading into transgression, with the aim of concurrently revealing the multiple layers of work that a decolonial future depends on, while demonstrating the ambitions of a pluriversal decolonial future through their writing. The intertwined narrative is not conclusive, as the processes marked out in brief are experiences that still need to be fully practised in new relations in times to come within academia-in-society-and-the-world with human and more-than-human actors. However, they do offer a generative set of questions, concepts and metaphors to give courage to boundary-dwelling scholar activists attempting transgressive research. These reflections seek to regenerate the transgressive ‘decolonial gestures’ (decolonialfutures.net) that we can undertake in a neo-liberal world, as an important part of environment and sustainability education practices. It draws out what an embodied practice of transgressive learning can entail when we become discerning of hegemonic discourses that reproduce the status quo. We pay homage to those decolonial scholars in the field of environment and sustainability education as we traverse this terrain, recognising their imagination and the transgressive movement that has come before us, but importantly we seek to also open pathways for those yet to come.
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