Tuesday, 1 November 2016

In Colombia

The Colombian Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Information and Strategic Communication Network of the Agricultural Sector - AGRONET and the Agricultural Documentary Information Network of Colombia - RIDAC, held the Third Congress of Information in the Agricultural Sector "Big data, dissemination and appropriation of knowledge", which took place on 29th and 30th of September 2016 at the Jorge Tadeo Lozano University in Bogota.

Our brother Alfredo Mires was invited to give a lecture at this event, and then also to the academic conference that was held at the University of La Salle, in the framework of the Institutional Chair "Sewing peacetime", from 1st to 4th of October, both in Bogota and Yopal - the headquarters of the Utopia Project.

Alfredo presented "Wisdoms and breaths: Culture and agriculture in the experience of the Network of Rural Libraries of Cajamarca"; Here are some excerpts:

"Planting is not a productive function, it is not a mere economic occupation nor a tormenting job: it is a breeder's treat, a vitalizing celebration, a regenerating festival.

It is an implicit risk in the modern concept of resources: reducing the value of the different visions of the universe and objectifying nature can justify the sacrifice of the land on behalf of the dividends. And it is not only reductionism which implies an objectivist vision of the world: it's attitudes and profiles, it defines pedagogies and establishes public policy.

Some time ago I read a graffiti that said: "We see the big guys like that because we see them on our knees". Some years after starting the process of formation of Rural Libraries, we realized that it was not only about providing books, as if their language and content were neutral. By accessing books in the countryside, we automatically consented to the vision that those books reflected. Because basically it is not just about having books and reading, but how this reading could be consistent with the culture and environment to which it adheres.

If the endogenous wisdom is not recognized, the mechanical transfer of foreign content finishes by overruling it. The lack of equivalence of knowledge shows who holds the key to the safe. It results pusillanimous that in many libraries you can find complete encyclopedias of ancient and distant Greek civilization, but not a single brochure on our own portentous and latent culture.

This remembrance is not intended to be a fun evocative concession, a maudlin yearning for our origins or a nostalgic look at bygone times. Honoring the legacy of our grandparents enhances dignity and strengthens the steps we take. We are convinced that at the roots of community culture prevail as frank prophecy the statements that allow the construction of a future of peace, without hunger and with respect.

Otherwise it would mean continuing to inhale the colonizing psalmody with which history is written. Or to be left without living memories, without the dictionary engraved with our survival."

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