Towards Freedom: Reflections on the Free University

We launched the Free University of Western Sydney (FUWS) in April 2016 with the plan that after organising a few events, and connecting with others who had common principles, we could come together to take stock, and to think collectively & critically about the way forward.

‘Reflections’ is the time and place; a chance to reflect on decolonising knowledge movements & radical education movements locally and globally, on how FUWS can contribute to these movements, on what we’ve learnt so far, and on what we want the FUWS to be. You are all invited to this open discussion lead by fantastic and inspiring FUWS allies Fern Thompsett and Evelyn Araluen Corr.

6PM FRIDAY 21 OCTOBER– BANKSTOWN ARTS CENTRE, 5 OLYMPIC PARADE BANKSTOWN

This event is part of the Undercommoning Collective’s Global Autonomous Weekend of Action. We highly recommend you learn more at here.

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Extreme Civility: The Revolutionary Praxis in Tunisia and its Legacies

Discover the spontaneous practice that existed in various cities of Tunisia immediately after the fall of Ben Ali in January 2011. Explore the means by which people organized small committees to protect their neighborhoods, offered food and drinks to volunteers of these small committees; the forming of queues that were made to buy bread; or the practice of stopping at traffic lights, even if they were not working. Such acts functioned as social magnets and helped the structuring of a new temporary revolutionary, egalitarian social order. From this we can learn lessons of re-appropriating and reinventing new legitimate means of collective violence, away from state apparatae.

6pm Monday 25 July – Bankstown Arts Centre, 5 Olympic Parade Bankstown

Benoit Challand is currently Associate Professor of Sociology at the New School for Social Research, New York City. His talk is based on interviews conducted during and after the fall of the regime in Tunisia.

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Negrophobia Worldwide: Dr Frederick Gooding Jr

A special presentation by Frederick Gooding Jr from Northern Arizona University.

Join us for an evening of provocation on transnational racial injustice.

6pm Thursday 28 July – Bankstown Arts Centre, 5 Olympic Parade Bankstown

Dr. Gooding is a faculty member in Ethnic Studies at Northern Arizona University (NAU). His research and teaching focus on African American History, Critical Race Theory as well as Media, Movies & Mainstream Sports. His recent publications include The Emperor’s New Clothes: Identifying Racism in Obama’s Post-Racial Society in the edited volume Re-vitalizing the American Dream: Essays on Barack Obama and You Mean, There’s RACE in My Movie? The Complete Guide to Understanding Race in Mainstream Hollywood.

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Upcoming events and courses

We have just held three events in our fist big month and two upcoming in July 2016.

Stay tuned for more on our upcoming events and courses. We have a six-session Critical Race Course planned in the near future.

We would be happy to hear from you about what to do in the future and how you can be part of making this happen. You can reach out to us on our Facebook page or by email at contactfuws(at)gmail.com

Find our past events here.

The Free University Launches: an introduction

Below is an edited version of the speech delivered at our launch event about the Free University of Western Sydney. Our thank yous to all who have helped thus far can be found here.

We’d like to start by voicing our respect for the traditional custodians of this land, and acknowledging Elders of the past, present & future.

Hi everybody – we’re so happy you could be here tonight – we’re so happy we could be here tonight – this, the Free University of Western Sydney, is something we’ve been percolating privately in different groups for more than a year or two now. Some months ago, quite by chance, our small groups found out about each other, met up for what turned into a 6-hour long breakfast, & then, quite quickly, things started to come together & fall into place, & now here we are.

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