African Social Movement Learning

The Case of the Ada Songor Salt Movement


How social movements learn in struggle, produce knowledge, and provoke public paradigm shifts have become an important focus of critical adult education in our contemporary turbulent times. And yet, African social movements, and their learning are largely absent from this literature. This work, therefore, provides a rare and much needed African contribution to this field.

African Social Movement Learning: The Case of the Ada Songor Salt Movement speaks to this gap in the literature, laying out an entry-point to an African-centered account of learning in struggle on the continent. However, this entry-point quickly turns to an in-depth sharing of one particular case of African social movement learning. Based on 9 years of research with the Ada Songor salt movement in Ghana, the book provides a detailed account of learning through defending communal access to West Africa’s largest salt yielding lagoon in the face of local, national and global efforts to expropriate this resource. The book shares the knowledge production of the movement, as well as the ways in which the movement has restoried its struggle to meet new challenges. Songs, tapestries, demonstrations, manifestoes, popular education approaches, and book production all feature in these efforts.

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Jonathan Langdon, Ph.D. (McGill University), is Canada Research Chair in Sustainability and Social Change Leadership, and is Associate Professor in Adult Education and Development Studies at St. Francis Xavier University. He has published many articles and chapters on social movement learning, as well as edited Indigenous Knowledges, Development and Education (Sense Publishers, 2009).
Anne Harley
List of Illustrations

Chapter 1: Introduction
 Social Movement and Social Movement Learning Studies
 Social Movement Learning in Ghana – A Gathering of Voices
 A History of Movements Defending Communal Access
 Moving with the Ada Movement
 Structure of the Book

Chapter 2: African Social Movements and Learning
 Social Movement Studies and Subaltern Movements
 Social Movement Learning and Critical Adult Education
 1st Wave: African Liberation Movements
 From the 2nd Wave of Democratization to the 3rd Wave of Contemporary Ctruggles
 2nd Wave: African Democracy Movements
 3rd Wave: Protest Movements in Contemporary Times
 Moving from Africa to Ada

Chapter 3: Ada Movement Knowledge Production, Questioning National Development
 National Development and Neoliberalism as Topographies of Power
 The Adas, a Salt People from the Start
 Ada Songor Focus of British Colonial Divide and Rule Tactics in Area
 Ghana Emerges from the Gold Coast Colony, but the Post Independence State Still Promotes the National over the Local
 Adas Dispossessed, Fight back through Legal, Political and Physical Means
 A New Dispossession on the Horizon Means New Tactics Are Needed
 Resisting the National Development and Neoliberal Narrative

Chapter 4: Stories and Restorying as Social Movement Learning
 Literacy of Struggle
 Challenging How the Root Causes of Struggle are Framed
 The Thumbless Hand, the Chameleon, and the Dog
 Challenging Male Dominance through Rooted Restorying
 The Struggle of the Songor Salt People Book Project
 Restorying Struggle as Learning

Chapter 5: The Pedagogy of Creative Dissent: Using Creativity to Broaden and Deepen Social Movement Learning
 Creative Dissent and Pedagogy
 Creativity, Learning and Democratizing Knowledge
 Overlapping Registers of “Spreading” Learning and Creativity

Chapter 6: Conclusion
 African Subaltern Movements Thinking and Acting on Their Future
 African Subaltern Social Movements Producing Potential
 Creativity and Non-Violent Activism
 Where the Movement Is Headed Now, or the Latest Area of Learning
 Learning in, through and to Struggle

Appendix A
Those interested in social movements in Africa, as well as their learning, and anyone concerned with contemporary activism, especially as it occurs outside of Europe and North America.
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