Restor(y)ing Hope: Stories as Social Movement Learning in Ada Songor Salt Movement

Jonathan Langdon, Rachel Garbary

Abstract


Stories are a central component of how we understand ourselves and our societies in our world. This is especially true in the case of oral cultures. Stories, how they are used, how they are reframed, and how they change over time, are also an important record of learning. Randall (1996) and Kenyon and Randall (1997) have called this process restorying. This article explores how a social movement in Ada, Ghana, has been using stories to both learn and share that learning through several phases of struggle over the past six years. This movement aims to defend the 400-year-old communal artisanal salt production practice that is the livelihood of over 60,000 people. Women make up the majority of these practitioners. The aim of this paper is both to reveal the power of these stories for popular education and to explore how in restorying these stories over time the movement reveals the ongoing depth of learning. This paper also discusses how the alliance between the movement and the local community radio contributes to this restorying and learning.


Keywords


artisanal salt; Ghana; natural resources; restorying; social movement learning; Songor Lagoon; stories as research; women movement leaders

Full Text:

PDF

References


Abdi, A. A. 2007. “Oral Societies and Colonial Experiences: Sub-Saharan Africa and the De-Facto Power of the Written Word.” International Education 37 (1): 42–59.

Abdi, A. A. 2010. “Clash of Oralities and Textualities: The Colonization of the Communicative Space in Sub-Saharan Africa.” In Indigenous Knowledge and Learning in Asia/Pacific and Africa: Perspectives on Development, Education, and Culture, edited by D. Kapoor and E. Shizha, 147‒64. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230111813_10

Agyeman-Duah. I. 2013. An Economic History of Ghana: Reflections on a Half-Century of Challenge and Progress. Banbury: Ayebia Clark.

Amate, C. O. C. 1999. The Making of Ada. Accra: Woeli Publishing Services.

ASAF (Ada Songor Advocacy Forum). 2016. The Struggle of the Songor Salt People: None No Ko Lio No Ko le. Sogakope: Comboni Press.

Chamberlin, T. 2003. If This Is Your Land, Where Are Your Stories? Finding Common Ground. Toronto: Vintage.

Choudry, A. 2007. “Transnational Activist Coalition Politics and the De/Colonization of Pedagogies of Mobilization: Learning from the Anti-Neoliberal Indigenous Movement Articulations.” International Education 37 (1): 97‒112.

Choudry, A., and D. Kapoor. 2010. “Learning from the Ground Up: Global Perspectives on Social Movements and Knowledge Production.” In Learning from the Ground Up, edited by A. Choudry and D. Kapoor, 1‒13. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230112650_1

Clandinin, D. J., and F. M. Connelly. 2000. Narrative Inquiry: Experience and Story in Qualitative Research. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Escobar, A. 1995. Encountering Development: The Making and Unmaking of the Third World. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Ferguson, J. 2007. Global Shadows: Africa in the Neoliberal World Order. Durham: Duke University Press.

Government of Ghana. 1986. The Amisah Commission Report. Accra: Assembly Press.

Government of Ghana. 1991. Master Plan. Accra: Assembly Press.

Gunn, L. 2014. “From Dogs to Wolves: A Look at the Role of Learning and Organizing Processes in Women’s Empowerment in Ada, Ghana.” Honours dissertation, St. Francis Xavier University.

Kenyon, G. M., and W. L. Randall. 1997. Restorying Our Lives: Personal Growth through Autobiographical Reflection. Westport: Praeger.

Langdon, J. 2009a. “Democracy and Social Movement Learning in Ghana: Reflections on 15 Years of Learning in the Democratic Terrain by Ghanaian Activist-Educators.” PhD dissertation, McGill University.

Langdon, J. 2009b. “Learning to Sleep Without Perching: Reflections of Activist-Educators on Learning in Ghanaian Social Movements.” McGill Journal of Education 44 (1): 79‒105. https://doi.org/10.7202/037773ar

Langdon, J. 2016. “Democratic Hopes, Transnational Government(re)ality: Grounded Social Movements and the Defense of Communal Natural Resources in Ghana.” In Beyond Colonialism, Development and Globalization, edited by D. Kapoor and D. Caouette, 49‒66. London: Zed Books.

Langdon, J., and K. Larweh. 2015. “Moving with the Movement: Collaboratively Building a Participatory Action Research (PAR) Study of Social Movement Learning in Ada, Ghana.” Action Research 13 (3): 281‒97. https://doi.org/10.1177/1476750315572447

Langdon, J., K. Larweh, and S. Cameron. 2014. “The Thumbless Hand, the Dog and the Chameleon: Enriching Social Movement Learning Theory through Epistemically Grounded Narratives Emerging from a Participatory Action Research Case Study in Ghana.” Interface: A Journal for and about Social Movements 6 (1): 27‒44.

Larweh, K., and J. Langdon. 2014. “Seeing the Synergy in the Signals: Reflections on Weaving Projects into Social Movement Mobilizing through Community Radio.” In Community-Based Multiliteracies and Digital Media Projects: Questioning Assumptions and Exploring Realities, edited by H. Pleasants and D. Salter, 217‒36. New York: Peter Lang.

Manuh, T. 1994. “Survival in Rural Africa: The Salt Co-Operatives in Ada District, Ghana.” In Development from Within: Survival in Rural Africa, edited by D. R. F. Taylor and F. Mackenzie, 102‒24. New York: Routledge.

Manuh, T. 1997. “Ghana: Women in the Public and Informal Sectors under the Economic Recovery Programme.” In The Women, Gender and Development Reader, edited by N. Visvanathan, L. Duggan, L. Nisonoff and N. Wiegersma, 277‒83. London: Zed Books.

Merriam, S., and E. A. Simpson. 1995. A Guide to Research for Educators and Trainers of Adults. 2nd ed. Malabar: Krieger Publishing.

Mignolo, W. 2000. Local Histories/Global Designs: Coloniality, Subaltern Knowledges and Border Thinking. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Pessey, D. 2016. Foreword to The Struggle of the Songor Salt People: None No Ko Lio No Ko le, by ASAF. Sogakope: Comboni Press.

Randall, W. 1996. “Restorying a Life: Adult Education and Transformative Learning.” In Aging and Biography: Explorations in Adult Development, edited by J. E. Birren, G. M. Kenyon, J. E. Ruth, J. J. F. Schroots and T. Svensson, 224‒247. New York: Springer.

Sachs, W., ed. 1992. The Development Dictionary: A Guide to Knowledge as Power. London: Zed Books.

Secretaries Committee of the Ada Songor Cooperation. 1989. Who Killed Maggie? The Story of the Songor Lagoon. Cadier en Keer: Ada Songor Co-operation/The Africa Centre. Accessed October 10, 2017. https://opendocs.ids.ac.uk/opendocs/handle/123456789/1200

Sinfield, A. 1989. Literature, Politics, and Culture in Post-War Britain. Berkeley: University of California Press.

UN (The United Nations). 2007. United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous People. New York: United Nations. Accessed October 10, 2017. http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf

White, G. 2007. “Community Radio in Ghana: The Power of Engagement.” Center for Communications and Community. Accessed April 8, 2013. http://www.c3.ucla.edu/research-reports/reports-archive/editors- perspective/community-radio-in-ghana

Yihi Katseme. 2016. “Okor Songor Yihi Akpe: Songor for All, Sustainability Forever.” Facebook video, 8:12. Edited by R. Garbary. Posted July 25, 2016. Accessed October 18, 2017. https://www.facebook.com/YihiKatseme/videos/983089715122003/


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2017 Jonathan Langdon, Rachel Garbary

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.