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Rizoma freireano • Rhizome freirean - vol. 1-2 • 2008

The act of study is not a consumption of ideas, but of creating and recreating it.
(Paulo Freire)

They produce but they don’t posses, they produce but they don’t appropriate and when the work is done don’t stand in it.
(Lao- Tsé)


We are used to bipolar, hierarchical and arborescent thoughts and we always want to study everything from the analysis and division point of view. We have ignored that life and knowledge can not limit to this schematic definition about diversity which separates the idea about the observer and the observed, as they were independent between them.

Curiously, by nature, we can find examples of development and growth which never were in a line or obeyed to reversible process. This is the case of the rhizome. It is a horizontal and subterranean stem which is located in perennial plants, like the lily, and it is able to ramify in others stems. This allows fast vegetative multiplication. The fact is that the rhizome is a slightly particular structure. It lives under the ground, but it can feed the plant. It lives under the ground, but it permits to keep water and food during droughts. It lives under the ground and it can appear and sometimes disappear without necessary taking away power in order to guarantee the plant’s development.

The first who applied the rhizome botanic model in the human sciences, specific to psychology, was Carl Jung at the end of 1958 when he finished the three first chapters of his very well known work “Memories, dreams thoughts”. In this work, Jung said the human beings’ life is similar to plants with rhizome because something perceptible and visible is ephemeral and brief, opposite to the RHIZOME where there is always “something alive which can stayed under the eternal changed. The flower is seen and it perishes. The rhizome remains”.

Almost twenty years later, in the seventies, the term rhizome was profusely used again in the human sciences, specifically in aspects of communication epistemology by Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari in their also well known work “Rhizome: Introduction”. It used the rhizome model like a structure in operation in which any point could be connected to any other, independently of those points were homogeneous or heterogeneous between them without having hierarchical order or coordination/subordination’s relationships. Necessary, it is a flexible, multiple and regenerative structure, which is also perennial, taking into account that: “…Every rhizome has segmental lines which is stratified, organized, etc. with; but it has also opposite lines where it is possible to escape. There is breakage in the rhizome each time that, from the segmental lines, suddenly a leak line emerges, which is also part of the rhizome. These lines are constantly remitting ones to others. For this reason, it will never be possible to presuppose a dualism or a dichotomy, not either under the rudimentary idea of good and bad…”

Perhaps, we are being too ambitious. But we share Paulo Freire’s idea of something that we think is impossible for tomorrow, it is necessary to start it from something possible today. At the end, we are trying to do a “freiran rhizome” in which at the same time it is possible to be roots, stems, leafs, flowers or fruits without care our position or the space where we occupied. We can create and produce not only knowledge from “segmental line”, also from “leak lines” in which, opposite to the dominant bipolarity, we recreate the life’s emergent complexity.

This review is created with rhizomatic vocation, taking into account that its existence is not physical because it is an on line review. It is going to be always there, visible and hidden at the same time, unit and multiple, formal and informal, letting us to communicate, to reflect, to discuss, and to go into conflicts with agreements and disagreements. It is going to be an open structure which takes to many places for production of actions or anywhere if we want to read only one review.

But our “freiran rhizome” is not just a rhizome in structure and potentiality; there are other reasons like the diversity of people who participate and subjects to discuss. The aim is to emerge the invalidated academic and official knowledge as legitimate knowledge, based on rules of multiplicity. This will lead into new thoughts, ideas, dreams and texts which allow reflecting about the world in/with people; and about what people are in/with the world.

The approach to the world, the fact of being with/in the world and to contemplate it, creating and recreating -this world which Freire described as it is not, it just is being- and it will be from educational perspective, but not from the school education. But this educational approach is not limited to pedagogical aspects. The”freiran rhizome” wants to pierce the educational limits and to observe and to take part in themes from other perspectives. Those ideas will be positioned in the border between life and dream, between reality and desire. For this reason, many pages will be based on utopia, dreams and reality.

The”freiran rhizome” has already started and is being developed between all of us. This is a collective work and a challenge which will make us think and act in the world in another way. The only instrument that we will use will be the word, which gives shape to thoughts and facts. This is also a challenge to think about today in relationship with tomorrow. We have to enrich our change’s desires and wait for better times, always transforming, as Freire said, difficulties into possibilities. This will be real only if we fight as a collective group for the arrival of better times. The rhizome has to grow full of wisdom, desires and dreams from those who have and at the same time do not have because they are sharing. They want to see these wishes became reality in a real and concrete time and place.

How will we construct this space? Review will have three numbers per year, and our wish is to edify differing and diverse spaces. The articles will be published in four languages: english, portuguese, spanish and catalan. Joint with articles to think and reflect, it will be a declaratory document about our willingness to change – even a little – the reality that we have and don’t like. At the same time, together/inside in the review, it can be find, as well, some information about activities doing now or other task to do in the future for the institutions committed with this dream/wish/project in the form of a newsletter.