Editorial – May 2016

A Note: For reading part of this online issue in PDF form, download from this link. Our little magazine archive and videography sections, however, can only be reached through our website.

One of the reasons why we are wary of professionalism probably has to do with the fact that we learned much more from spaces outside the classroom than inside. Consequently, our relationships to the formal institutions of knowledge production – colleges and universities – remain ambiguous. We do recognize that certain kinds of intellectual exercise can and do indeed happen within formal institutions of learning. And these exercises indeed contribute to the ongoing human struggle for a better and more equal world. Yet at the same time, we cannot ignore the fact that institutions of formal learning are, after all, spaces to train future professionals. They exist so that each one of us can be turned into a “productive” citizen, who would at the same time be “saleable” in one form or the other. In other words, there is a deep relationship between class formation, consumerist commercialism and academic institutes in any society during any given period in history. But what happens when those who are meant to be “trained” refuse to be schooled in the language of dominance? What happens when those who are meant to be “trained” refuse to be confined to the boundaries of the classroom, thereby unleashing alternate processes of education which many academicians are incapable of imagining? What happens when the site of knowledge production shifts from the classrooms to the streets, from the lone teacher-lecturer’s voice to the chants of the millions? We don’t know. We don’t have complete answers. What we do know is this: this might be the beginning of an imagination that dares to dream of a liberated university. Thus we await the future, for it to unfold and to unravel further beyond the sensation of the moment. Meanwhile, our deepest solidarities to our student-comrades at JNU, HCU, Jadavpur… to anywhere and everywhere in the country.

The Aainanagar Team

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