Reflections on Community Organizing and Ballroom Dancing

Oscar Francisco


Community organizing like ballroom dancing is a conscious and creative undertaking. Its main nemeses are irrelevance and atrophy. The organizer must be alike the dance instructor who does not view dancing as a routinary work but as an act of creation and celebration. Today’s organizers have been molded in a particular ideological crucible which demands one vision and line of action. The effects of this totalization of perspectives are so well-entrenched that new ideas are immediately suspect. If organizers are committed to effect societal change, they need to develop a world view that does not pretend to exhaust description and analysis. The challenge of reeducating them involves not only introducing them to other theories or models of social analysis and paradigms of development but also finding out how old concepts could now lead to new actions. Organizers have simply begun to rediscover voices of history drowned out by louder ones. These voices are reasserting themselves in the current discourse. The revitisation of the humanities, especially the study of representations, could be an attempt to recapture such voices. After all, imagination allows us to see the moment and beyond.

Full Text: