Who am I?
A lifetime ago I started working in the water sector on a Water Research Commission funded project in the Kat River Valley Catchment, Eastern Cape, South Africa. Since then I have been involved in various WRC projects all with a focus on the democratic and sustainability imperatives of the South African National Water Act. My early interests were not only water but a passion for democracy and social and environmental justice. During this first WRC project I developed a deep love and fascination with systems of water, particularly rivers as central to social spaces and social relationships. Within this socio-ecological space my interests flow around issues of power and learning. My particular interest in learning is the representation of knowledge, the politics of knowing, mediation and social learning. This leads me to investigate all sorts of ways of representing and producing knowledge for change including theatre of the oppressed, creative writing techniques, responsive workshops and web-based tools for social learning and communication. I also devour social science research methodologies that enable me to view and interrogate complex socio-ecological challenges. My hero’s are Paulo Freire, Steve Biko and Donavan-Ross Costaras. My heroine’s are Ursula le Guin , bell hooks, my wild-women friends, my intellectual mentors and my sister.
I am also a mindfulness and Buddhist practitioner. I believe that we all have a commitment towards doing as little harm as possible. Part of this commitment is working with the forces within us that perpetuate negative mind patterns which directly effect the way we are in the world. Doing this training with compassion for myself and others is one of the most rewarding and most challenging journeys.