Most of us assume that LITERACY is a good thing. But have we ever thought about what exactly literacy means and what its harmful effects may be? The following articles are offered to provoke deeper thinking around the campaign of Eradicating Illiteracy (or Literacy for All).
Introduction to The Dark Side of Literacy
Who Is Illiterate? Rosa Maria Torres, 1991.
An Illiterates Declaration to the Literacy Preacher Dayal Chand Soni, 1998.
Image/Word in The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between World and Image by Leonard Shlain. New York: Penguin, 1998.
"Why Words Are Biotic: Knowledges Vanish When Languages Die" - Anushka Meenakshi and Proteek Dey, 2002.
"Taming the Horror: Overcoming the Reign of the Educated Literacies" - Gustavo Esteva and Madhu Suri Prakash, 1998.
How to Eradicate Illiteracy without Eradicating Illiterates? Munir Fasheh, 2002.
Propaganda - Jacques Ellul, 1973.
From a Pedagogy for Liberation to Liberation from Pedagogy Dana Stuchul, Gustavo Esteva, and Madhu Suri Prakash, 2002.
Additional articles of interest:
The Bugbear of Literacy - Ananda Coomaraswamy:
Our real concern is with the fallacy involved in the attachment of an absolute value to literacy, and the very dangerous consequences that are involved in the setting up of “literacy” as a standard by which to measure the cultures of unlettered peoples. Our blind faith in literacy not only obscures for us the significance of other skills, so that we care not under what subhuman conditions a man may have to learn his living, if only he can read, no matter what, in his hours of leisure; it is also one of the fundamental grounds of inter-racial prejudice and becomes a prime factor in the spiritual impoverishment of all the “backward” people whom we propose to “civilise.”
Say No More - Jack Hitt, 2004.