Dr Ana Dinerstein from the Department of Social & Policy Sciences, visited Puebla, Mexico, where she ran the Summer School organised by the Centre for Rural Development (CESDER) and the Rural Indigenous Network University (UCIRED). 70 masters students from the region attended.

Founded in 1982, CESDER Mexico is a non-governmental organisation operating in the communities of Zautla-Ixtacamaxtitlán in the Sierra Norte of the State of Puebla. They promote specialised professional training at graduate and postgraduate levels using alternative pedagogy and methods based on learning from experience and on conversational processes in a learning community. The masters involved are Pedagogy of the Subject and Educational Practice, Practical Narratives and Community Work, and Agroecology, Territory and Food Sovereignty.

Dr Ana Dinerstein has been involved in the critical research on the global politics of hope for the past 10 years. During her week with the Summer School, she delivered a Conversation (keynote speech), took part in a round table discussion, and ran several seminars for master’s students. Ana also engaged in conversations with local people and community developers about how to organise hope, namely how to create concrete alternatives towards a better world where people can co-exist in peace and live with dignity.

Reflecting on the event, Benjamin Berlanga from CESDER said: “I am delighted to have had Dr Dinerstein with us this summer. It is a dream come true. I feel emotional because her ideas about concrete utopia, hope movements and the art of organising hope are helping us to understand both indigenous and non-indigenous people resistance and struggles for our territory, culture in a context of hardship, here in Mexico. Her work helps us understand how to create alternative 'real' worlds in Latin America."

At the end of the Summer School, students put forward their own interpretation of Ana’s ideas using narratives, prose, poetry, music, puppet show, performance and artwork. Ana provided feedback and a musical performance to thank them for their work and the experience at CESDER-UCIRED.