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August 14, 2017 | by  | in Editorial |
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Editors’ Letter

A lot has happened over the last week. Both of us are tired, stressed, and on edge. But we’ve made it to another print day, and the sun isn’t completely hidden behind the clouds.

In planning this issue we thought about participation — what is needed to participate, who is allowed to, what barriers there are, how can these be overcome. The pieces this week tackle some of these ideas.

Ataria looks at Paulo Freire’s Pedagogy of the Oppressed and its ongoing relevance in contemporary Aotearoa. Freire saw how education could enable those who suffer under society’s systemic oppression to creatively transform their world, and how poverty adds barriers to that education.

Cameron outlines his experience of university as a student with Asperger’s, and reflects how “…a system that only rewards those who can hack it without help is one that shows no regard for the wellbeing of the people it’s designed to assist: the students.”

Brodie writes about those whose voices are excluded from civic participation by prisoner disenfranchisement. The choice to disregard the New Zealand Bill of Rights and disallow part of our society to vote lies in the hands of the powerful and privileged, who keep changing the law as it suits them. Those who are affected immediately, prisoners themselves, are largely left out of this conversation.

Dan explores the programs run by charity Sustainable Coastlines and its engagement with prisoners; projects that are part of much larger scale environmental movement needed to restore New Zealand’s natural landscape.

***

Not everyone is given the same opportunities and, when it comes to spaces like the university and politics, voices are missing and unheard. How do we hear them? The first step is to listen.

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