For a 5 minute trailor of the play Unshackling Education, co-created by Elimu Sanifu, click here
11 Jun 2012 Leave a Comment
Xtra! Article about the Lost Lyrics Roots of the Rose Conference, featuring Unshackling Education
26 May 2012 Leave a Comment
Unshackling Education – The Play: Questions, Reflections, Suggestions is back on the stage Saturday June 2nd at the Lost Lyrics 5-Year Anniversary Conference: The Roots of the Rose! Starring Daniel Ellis, Wangui Kimari, co-written and directed by Rehana Tejpar, this play challenges the agenda to school the world at the expense of indigenous knowledges, histories, languages and learner’s ability to learn about themselves and their environment, through the eyes of a young Kenyan boy. Unshackling Education, is an invitation to discuss how we can make learning more relevant to students’ lived experiences and co-create alternative learning spaces which nurture creativity and community.
The theme of the conference is Building an Alternative Education Movement, and it will explore a diversity of approaches to decolonizing learning from the ground up. Unshackling Education will be on stage from 1-2pm at the Ryerson Student Centre, 55 Gould St. Come out!
You can check out more about the conference here:
14 Jan 2012 1 Comment
On December 8th, 2011 in Toronto, Canada, Elimu Sanifu presented a participatory play and discussion, Unshackling Education: Questions, Reflections, Suggestions. The story chronicles the life of a young Kenyan boy grappling between life in Nairobi’s informal settlements and the disconnection he faces with what and how he is learning in school.
Starring Daniel Ellis and Wangui Kimari, and co-written and directed by Rehana Tejpar, this play is intended to ask questions and provoke thought and discussion around the relevance and value of formal schooling. It fleshes out some of the complexities of the schooling/unschooling debate which encompass the pressures to be educated through formal schooling in order to be legitimized in a society with the diploma disease; the assumptions that doing well in school will guarantee you a job and a good income, that schooling is literacy and literacy is knowledge; how the school convinces students that they are failures, that they must abandon their passions in favour of studies and high marks; the dismissal of African indigenous/ancestral knowledges and his/herstories from an African perspective in the curriculum and how this impacts the student’s sense of self as an African; the under-representation of hands-on practical skill learning which can be directly applied to living healthier lives now; and the reality that schooling does open doors of opportunity especially when one is free to self-direct their learning, and how violent the imposition of a particular form of foreign (western) learning model can be on the soul of a child which craves to be itself.
We witness as the consciousness of Mwangi Otieno, the lead character, awakens to the unjust realities around him – the grippling poverty he is forced to live in the informal settlements, the unfairness of what and how he is taught in school while at the same time dependent on being legitimized within that very system and knowing few other altnernatives between the streets and the school. A journey to his rural upcountry to visit his grandmother catalyzes this awakening.
We were grateful to the Toronto community for a great turnout to the opening of the play. They danced, sang, laughed and cried with us and shared their personal experiences of schooling and co-creating alternative learning environments in the discussion which followed.
We are planning to perform Unshackling Education again this spring and summer in Toronto, and the video of the performance will soon be available online.
14 Sep 2011 Leave a Comment
Documentary screening of The Africans: A Triple Heritage, by Ali Mazrui, followed by a discussion facilitated by human rights activist and community organizer Gacheke Gachihi.
Poster: The Africans: A Triple Heritage
14 Sep 2011 Leave a Comment
Facilitated by traditional dancer, John Maina, participants will learn basic techniques of traditional dance and then create their own movement in groups, based on an African proverb or story of their choice.
15 Jul 2011 Leave a Comment
On July 9, 2011 Elimu Sanifu facilitated a workshop on making baskets from recycled newspaper, with 150 students at Starehe Girls Centre. We had so much fun! The girls were full of energy, excitement and creativity, as they designed other useful things that can be made from recycled newspaper – like purses, hats, bowls… Have a look!