The latest CONCEPT, the always probing Scottish Community Education Journal, has landed in my lap at a moment of some personal and political despair. A dearest friend and comrade of nearly 40 years is terminally ill. His cancer was missed – the other side of the COVID balance sheet. As he slips away I feel my [our] hopes for the future, our faith that ‘another world is possible’ slipping away too. As it is I hold his hand from afar, trapped on Crete, this locked-down island ‘paradise’. I send photos and anecdotes, phone and hope to hear his distinctive voice but he is often exhausted and distracted. The very title of this blog, ‘Chatting Critically’ is born of our shared conviction that at the heart of any would-be emancipatory relationship in youth work and far beyond is a willingness to listen, question and explore. In short to chat attentively, respectfully and openly. Perhaps I exaggerate but such a culture of contested concern seems to be on the wane. If we allow the parameters of public debate to be set by behavioural psychologists, who believe they know us better than we know ourselves, what else to expect?
In this light I can but thank all of those involved in CONCEPT and the Letters from Lockdown included in this Spring issue for making me smile a little and reflect afresh. Whilst I doubt whether I have departed the trough of despond, they have prevented me from falling further into its depths. It was much needed and is thoroughly appreciated.
Vol 12 No 1 (2021): Volume 12 No1 Spring 2021
- ‘Slamdance the cosmopolis’: Political Discourses around Drugs and Alcohol – John Player
- A Chatter That Matters: A Conversation About Severe and Multiple Disadvantage – Lorina Gilroy
- Making Connections – Mae Shaw, Louise Kelly, Jemma Eveleigh
- More letters from lockdown…Creative responses to Covid-19 – Jane Meagher, Jo McFarlane, Rosie R Meade
- Jorge Tamames (2020) For the People: Left Populism in Spain and the US – Nigel Hewlett
- Edinburgh Recovery Activities (2020) Letters from Lockdown, PDF available from Concept website – Lyn Tett
- Edinburgh Recovery Activities (2020) Letters from Lockdown, PDF available from Concept website – Jo McFarlane