“Empathy goes beyond generosity. In Freire’s vision of development, there is no room for charity in the sense of classifying those in need as lacking capacity or being disabled in any way. Rather the principle of empathy is a form of recognizing different points of departure that make it harder for some to reaching their goals. The principle of empathy recognizes inequalities and takes them as collective issues rather than a matter of individual effort or merit. Need, or being in need, is a sign of domination of some over others. Empathy is then required to trigger a change that will provide the dominated with what is necessary to break this cycle of oppression.” (Suzina & Tufte, 2020, p.414, accessible here)
Linje Manyozo is a student of the human condition, whose praxis involves demobilizing the pervasiveness of the Emperor’s phallus as a way to undermine the discourses and structures of inequality. In his idealism, Linje’ work, informed by liberatory theology, places God at the centre of the subaltern’s efforts to integrate citizen voices in development policy formulation and implementation. Linje’s work celebrates the making of love to the world (fazendo amor com o mundo).
Currently, Dr Linje Manyozo teaches in RMIT’s College of Design and Social Context.
Linje has published three books: Communicating Development With Communities (Routledge, 2017); Media, Communication and Development (Sage, 2013) and People’s Radio (Southbound, 2012). His latest work, Wisdom of Water (2022), celebrates God and indigenous wisdom as foundation stones for working with people. Linje’s people-centred work is summarised in “Pedagogy of Listening” where he emphasizes that development is about working with God so as to make love to people.
James Deane is Head of Policy at BBC Media Action, the charity set up by the BBC to support media around the world and advance international development. He is also currently working as a consultant to Luminate, a philanthropic foundation, to develop an International Fund for Public Interest Media.
Moderator: Sharon Prendeville, Loughborough University London