Dan Glass Tutors – Ntombi and Heleen 25th October 2012 – Essay Week 2 Transformative Development is critical for

people to be fully human. Discuss
Using training for transformation methodology we shall discuss using in an applied context whether transformative development is critical for people to become fully human (Hope, A. and Timmel, S,. 1984). Hope and Timmel define development as 'a process in which a community of people strives to make it possible for all its members to satisfy their fundamental human needs and to enhance the quality of their lives' (Hope, A. and Timmel, S,. 1984. p.86). The tools for exploration are firstly, the 'Fundamental Wheel of Human Needs' – a profound study analysing all the needs, ideally in equal proportions, across all people which need to be met for people to be fully human. These needs are fuel, food, water, shelter, protection, affection, understanding, participation, creation, identity, idleness and freedom (Max-Neef, 1991). Transformation is when a level of consciousness is reached whereby 'levels of awareness', the second tool, are raised from suppressed levels of conscious to a deep questioning and a building of new alternatives. In response to the question we shall be looking through the organisational example of 'The Glass Is Half Full' (GHF). The GHF profile states 'Provocative and politically charged, we take pleasure in overcoming injustice(s) through performance, popular education and movement building.' GHF's focus is on 'overcoming' and this paper explores GHF'S current work 'The HIV Army' examining HIV service cuts in Britain. To contextualise this example, up to 40% of London's HIV services are being cut as part of the British governments programme of ‘austerity’ cuts. In London, the Health Protection Agency are calling the rise in infections an 'epidemic' (1). The reality is that in the capital alone, 28,000 people are living with HIV. Personally, after six years of being HIV+ and due to the looming service cuts, I have recently thrown myself in the deep end and immersed myself in understanding what HIV transformative development practices exist. Coming to the surface from this exploration I have found there is little holistic support for people to proactively engage or critically understand the political nature of HIV all the whilst the most effective weapon for such people – self-determination – is being blunted by the cuts. Globally, HIV activism has an iconic history at the heart of many liberation movements – from lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender discourse, anti-racism, health activism and much more. Literally thousands of HIV/ AIDS NGO's and charities exist which might fall into each category of 'levels of awareness'. These are firstly, organisations operating around 'naïve' consciousness whom unquestioningly accept the fatalism of those affected through providing basic needs services on the ground. Secondly, those aiming to 'awaken' consciousness by providing health awareness raising and anti-stigma campaigns. Lastly, mainstream models such as the 'Terence Higgins Trust' (2) aim to reform consciousness by enabling groups to question politics within the HIV / AIDS crisis. Unfortunately few groups may fall into the 'liberating and transforming' consciousness category. These would exist to replace authoritarian, redundant and ineffective structures with truly revolutionary new forms of self-determination simultaneously on a personal and political level. However one such group I believe is the 'Aids Coalition To Unleash Power' (ACT UP) (3). Particularly active in the 1980's and 1990's their motto was 'live fighting or die'. Their campaigning model was needs-based involving creative street activism and self-education programmes. ACT UP activists shared their experiences at the initial 'HIV Army' workshop series which was a critical turning point in the quest for transformative development to reach full human potential. In light of this, the HIV Army objective was to build an appropriate community response, to engage in 'conscientization' (conscience – action) to build a culture of self-determination amongst those isolated and

affected by HIV service cuts. 'Conscientization' refers to a critical positioning (action) in face of a reality understood from a continuous process of reflection and questioning (conscience). The programme uses the methods of engaging simultaneously with the 'head' or intellectual arguments, the 'heart' or emotional engagement and 'hand' the action-oriented potential of such dialogue. Questions asked during the initial public workshop series included - As the rates of HIV infection rise in many parts of Europe how do we respond? How much alienation is internalised? How do we share with others? What do we do as community? The format was 'cooperative inquiry' groups with the intention to organise ‘with’ rather than ‘on’ people, where people are active agents rather than passive subjects. By the very nature of this structure, learning would be more motivating, fun and simultaneously combat the isolationism perpetuated by the cuts. The coalition created a show, scripted and created by those living with HIV. It was a 'coming out' project to expose the reality of what it means to live with HIV in 2012 and simultaneously launch the campaign against the key cuts to education and prevention HIV programmes. Here I am reminded of bell hooks' regarding the first stage of a transformative process. “When we only name the problem, when we state complaint without a constructive focus or resolution, we take hope away. In this way critique can become merely an expression of profound cynicism, which then works to sustain dominator culture” (hooks, b,. 2003.p.24). The sharing of experience from ACT UP helped on the journey to transforming consciousness. Participants discussed that with the service cuts, questioning wasn't enough, alternative systems of governance must be formed. They recosgnised that whilst activists who were public with their HIV status may face knock–backs, continuing with a victim mentality only further entrenches the internalised prejudice. Ultimately those affected must be permitted the grace of rage. Through utilising these Freirian workshop tools of conscientization we were able to disentangle the needs of the participants and understand what fears have been internalised (Freire, P., 1992). Steve Biko's practice with transformative organising resonates with this process. He says 'key to Friere's methodology is the recognition that teaching should be a political act directly related to production, health, social conditions . … To be able to submerge themselves in the context of the learners' life experience, primarily to be able to listen while encouraging learners to unveil and 'unpackage their lives and problems' (Wilson, L., 2012. p.59). So the show launched on the 25th anniversary of ACT UP. Assessing the fundamental wheel of human needs was inherently tranformative by relating the personal to the political and contextualising each persons needs. Today, 'the UK has the worst quality of life in Europe' with the financial and psychological burden for those dependent on welfare rising (4). Substantiating this inability to meet core fundamental needs with the doubling of suicides within the LGBTQI community (5), we begin to understand the pathologies which manifest within the shape of the participant's communities. The participants shared experiences of engaging in 'false satisfiers' to challenge their unmet needs. The negative reinforcement of identity through drugs was a generative, or common, theme. How binge drinking, drug abuse, depression, suicide, relentless nihilistic hedonism and other manifestations of a severe lack of self-love were all interwoven in living with the precarity of HIV. The internalised oppression, fear and selfhate of being dependent on a system which cuts fundamental needs was very apparent as one participant shared, 'I've always had to take what Im given and be grateful, why would they care about me?' Indeed, any study of hate leads inevitably to a consideration of the nature of love. Internalized oppression can become a way of life only visible through the cracks in someone's smile. With traumatized communities' one often doesn't even see the pathologies straight away because they are so deeply internalised they are hidden.

The knock on effects of one need not being met, such as protection or affection, has a collateral effect on the others. Once one unmet need is exposed, the rest of the unmet needs start unravelling (Keen,S,.1992). Indeed, Max Neef highlights that a key collective pathology (or illness) that perpetuates fear are 'those caused by isolation, exile or marginalization' (Max Neef, 1991,p. 32). A further loss of self-determination was compounded by the public viewpoint that as 'HIV is a manageable condition' (6) there is little cause for concern. This invisiblises that the cuts to services threatens fundamental human needs such as protection. A culture of clinical support, of formalised treatment and sterile ‘support environments’ are part of this growing sense of the pathology. When real people engage with problems as real people, not as professionals, there is a sense of empathy and companionship which is valuable. When problems are treated in a clinical environment that element of social cohesion, the sense of acceptance, can be lost. The risks, faith and vision involved in these HIV-affected people took in exposing their stories and sharing their needs on stage surrounded by performance of their choice, including dancing, singing, acrobats, was truly mindblowing. The need for transcendence was enabled through the performance in a fun and liberating manner, resonating with the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that 'awareness of the mutuality of suffering impels us to search for ways to heal the whole, rather than encase ourselves in a bubble of denial and impossible individualism' (Ehrenreich, B. 2007, p. 162). The process helped ‘let go’ of old systems of thinking as well as focussing energy on building resilience at every level. As the performances developed, the interdependent solid system of support developed interwoven branches with all those in the audience, for those sharing to discover authenticity and their whole selves (Houghton, M). Through strengthening self to self, self to other, self to community at large people were able to be fully human. What was critical on the journey to a transformative level of consciousness was the understanding of the transgressive nature of HIV. HIV stands out of the dominant cultural picture of life, and draws a picture highlighting oppression, power and the need for greater defiance, reflection, creativity and full-scale liberation. bell hooks speaks to this “Dominator culture has tried to keep us all afraid, to make us choose safety instead of risk, sameness instead of diversity. Moving through that fear, finding out what connects us, revelling in our differences; this is the process that brings us closer, that gives us a world of shared values, of meaningful community” (hooks, b. 2003. p.122). Through the connections with ACT UP activists and the production of the show, participants were able to move from questioning within awakening consciousness to transformative consciousness. "The whole performance profoundly affected me; this event has deeply inspired me. This wasn’t a funeral or even a show, it was a celebration of life – exactly as it should be." Lesley (participant). In conclusion, in this example I have found a collective approach has been critical to enable people to journey on the road to transformation and to be fully human and am critical of generalisations as I am aware this is only one example. The fundamental wheel of human needs and 'levels of awareness' analysis has provided necessary alternatives and an understanding of false satisfiers and true needs to develop personal to political transformative approaches to development. By this I mean the dominant HIV / AIDS NGO culture whom diffuse political anger from the grassroots, alter the public psyche through their 'victim' orientated anti-stigma campaigns and make already marginalised groups, such as the LGBTQI community dependent on dominant heternormative culture. However, critical transformation to become fully human is a journey of constant process of action and reflection to maintain conscientisation. It is important to acknowledge and learn from this study that unmet needs and subsequent pathologies have deep roots to dig out to create community transformation. As Block says 'being to a community is to act as a creator and co-owner of that

community' (Block, 2008. p. 24). References: Block, P. 2008. Community - The Structure of Belonging. Berrett-Koehler Publishers: San Francisco Ehrenreich, B. 2007. Dancing in the Streets, A Collective History of Joy. Granta Books: London. Freire, P,. 1996. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. Penguin Books Ltd.: London. hooks, b, . 2003. A Pedagogy of Hope : Routledge, London Hope, A. and Timmel, S,. 1984. Training for Transformation I A handbook for Community Workers: South Africa, Training for Transformation Institute Hope, A. and Timmel, S,. 1984. Training for Transformation III A handbook for Community Workers: South Africa, Training for Transformation Institute Keen, S., 1992 The Passionate life – Stages of Loving. San Franscisco: Harper San Francisco Max Neef, M. 1991. Human Scale Development, ,Conception, Application and Further Reflections. The Apex Press, an imprint of the Council on International and Public Affairs: New York. Weller, F., 2011. Entering the Healing Ground: Grief, Ritual and the Soul of the World. California: Wisdom Bridge Press. Wilson, L., 2012. Steve Biko. South Africa: Jacana Media (Pty) Ltd Notes for Reader: 1. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13578283 . 'London HIV services cut as infections rise' Andy Dangerfield, BBC. 2. The 'Terence Higgins Trust - - http://www.tht.org.uk/ - Mission Statement - 'Our vision is a world where people with HIV live healthy lives free from prejudice and discrimination, and good sexual health is a right and reality for all'.

3.AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) is an international direct action advocacy group working to
impact the lives of people with AIDS (PWAs) and the AIDS pandemic to bring about legislation, medical research and treatment and policies to ultimately bring an end to the disease by mitigating loss of health and lives.

4.http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2011/sep/29/uk-worst-quality-of-life-europe . 'The UK has the worst
quality of life in Europe'. Mark King, 2011, The Guardian.

5.http://www.guardian.co.uk/theobserver/2010/aug/22/gay-attitude-depression-isolation 'Breaking the taboo
over the mental health crisis among Britain's gay men' Tracy McVeigh, 2010, The Guardian - The LGBTQI

community is twice as likely to commit suicide, and that's without further analysis of the contributions of living with HIV.

6.www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/issue/.../2007-03-6317 HIV is now a chronic, manageable disease –
Pharmacy Times

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