Community Blog

  • 13 Jun 2018 14:06 | Johannes Feest

    Short presentation by Johannes Feest (University of Bremen, Germany)
    at the international Seminar on “Justicia Restaurativa y Prisión”, organized by the Ministry of Justice of the Basque Country, June 4, 2018.

    The author is part of a group of criminologist from different parts of Europe. In the context of the conference “Abolitionist Futures: Building Social Justice Not Criminal Justice” (ICOPA 2018) we are presenting the book
    Massimo Pavarini & Livio Ferrari (eds.) NO Prison. London: EGPress 2018. 

    I. Prison as a punishment is an obsolete social technology

    The invention of the prison as a penal institution (pentitentiary) dates back some 400 years. It can be seen as a step in the right direction when the main task was to abolish the death penalty as the main form of punishment. But today, we must admit that it has become obsolete for several reasons. I will make a long story short, but you will be able to check the details in our book.

    • ·         The deprivation of liberty as a punishment does not fulfill its proclaimed goals, i.e. rehabilitation, deterrence, reduction of crime. It is instead known as a powerful instrument of de-socialization
    • ·         Furthermore, imprisonment violates fundamental human rights: it involves forced labour, forced celibacy and imposed poverty. Long term imprisonment must even be seen as a form of torture.
    • ·         Finally, imprisonment leads to the co-punishment of third parties: children, spouses, parents, friends, employers etc.

    All of this is well-known. There exists a lot of research to prove what I have just said. While some researchers still try to prove that imprisonment has some beneficial effects in some cases under special conditions, they leave aside the other negative effects mentioned. But, among politicians and the general population the prison institution is still widely considered to “work”.

    II. How shall we deal with these findings?

    Those of you, who agree more or less with what I have said so far, will ask: what can we do with, how can we react to such a failed institution?

    The usual answer will be: we have to find alternatives to the prison institution. There is some truth to that, as I will explain in a moment. But I believe that, before looking for alternatives, we need to adopt an “abolitionist stance” (to use a word coined by the great Norwegian sociologis and abolitionst Thomas Mathiesen). That means: saying NO to all inhuman institutions.

    In the past such a primarily moral stance has worked with other institutions. Who would have thought that slavery could ever be overcome as an economic device? Who would have predicted that torture would be outlawed as an instrument of criminal law? Who would have believed that Europe could ever be an area free of capital punishment?

    If such fundamental changes were possible in the past, why not in the future a society. Even a world without prisons?

    III. Some prisons are here to stay a little longer

    But to convince a sufficient part of the population to abandon the idea that prisons serve a useful purpose will take a long time. In order not to appear naive, we should admit that not all forms of imprisonment are doomed to be redundant. At least the following types of confinement have at least some future:

    • ·         as long as we conduct criminal trials, we will want to have some forms of pre-trial detention (if there are no other ways to secure the presence of the accused at the trial)
    • ·         as long as we have people that pose a concrete and grave danger to themselves or to others, we will want to have some form of quarantaine (and try to keep that as short as possible)
    • ·         and as long as we have wars and make prisoners in that context, we will want some sort of P.O.W. camps (and make sure that the standards of international humantitarian law are upheld).

    In what follows, I will concentrate on the question how to get rid of penitentiaries, i.e. prisons as a form of punishment. This should not make us forget the evil of administrative detention, which, in some states (e.g. Egypt, China, Israel and USA/Guantanamo) constitutes a form of extra-judicial punishment.

    IV. Practical strategies to abolish penitentiaries

    There are a number of ways that are available to achieve this goal. And they are not mutually exclusive, but should be used simultaneously, e.g.

    • ·         a first step is to reduce the total character of the prison institution, i.e. to adapt the conditions of confinement as much as possible to outside standards. A prison sentence should consist in the deprivation of liberty and nothing more (as it is laid down in the European Prison Rules).
    • ·         another step would be give sentenced offenders the option to “do time” outside institutions. Instead of serving a prison sentence, they could spend the time doing community work, reparation, therapy, training etc.
    • ·         even more important: large scale decriminalization is called for. A logical starting point would “crimes without victims” like drug offences, which could be dealt with as a health problem rather than a crime problem. This alone would eliminate about half of the present prison population in Europe.
    • ·         another approach would be to release all prisoners who do not pose a clear and present danger to society. That does not mean that they will go unpunished, but that they serve their sanctions in the community (see above).
    • ·         as I said before: only those who present a grave danger to themselves or to others need to be confined in some sort of quarantaine. But because of our limited ability to predict future behavior, we need new principles, e.g. a presumption of non-dangerousness (in analogy to the presumption of innocence).

    V. Brief reminder of the Massachusetts experiment

    To get rid of penitentiaries, we will first of all need courageous and creative civil servants and politicians Let me therefor conclude with the example of one such person: Jerome Miller (1931-2015).

    Jerome Miller became in 1970 head of the Youth Services in the State of Massachusetts. Among other things, he was responsible for the two juvenile prisons of the state, one called “reformatory”, the other “industrial school”. He decided to do away with both of these institutions. His way to go about this seems to me very instructive. He formed a committee of academics and practitioners, which held its sessions at the university. One by one the juvenile delinquents were brought before this committee. There, the committee members looked carefully into every single case and decided what was best for the juvenile (e.g. therapy? education? Work counselling? Placement in a foster family?). At the end of two years, they had found alternatives for every single person. And the prisons were closed down (and never reopened). I think that the Massachusetts experiment can serve as a model for doing away of other prison-like institution (for juveniles as well as for adults). There may be obstacles to such a procedure in other parts of the world. But the main lecture we can learn from it is this:
    We need not think of a “perfect” system of alternatives beforehand, but rather find the alternatives in a case-by case process.  This would be in keeping with the notion of „the unfinished“, which constitutes a central part of Thomas Mathiesen’s philosophy of abolition (see: The Politics of Abolition Revisited. Routledge: London and New York 2015, 21 ff).

  • 6 Jun 2018 10:14 | Anonymous

    Dear readers,

    Oñati Socio-legal Series has just published the second issue of the year:

    Critical Prison Studies, Carceral Ethnography, and Human Rights: From Lived Experience to Global Action.

    The monograph has been edited by Sarah Turnbull (Birkbeck, University of London, UK), Joane Martel (Université Laval, Québec City, Canada), Debra Parkes (University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada) and Dawn Moore (Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada), and it includes contributions by Laura Piacentini & Elena Katz, Luigi Gariglio, Gillian Balfour & Joane Martel, Keramet Reiter, and Bree Carlton & Emma K. Russell.

    According to the editors, "the papers explore some of the challenges and possibilities of critical prison research, ranging from issues arising in university research ethics reviews to the limitations of penal reform efforts to end the practice of solitary confinement. Each essay is embedded in a different penal context: Australia, Italy, Russia, Canada, and the United States; and each contributes to broader discussions of critical prison research, utilizing new and old methods and sources, including the ‘netnography’ of prisoner websites and the archives of anti-carceral feminist campaigners. Collectively, the essays bring new insights and methods into scholarly and activist conversations aimed at understanding and responding to the harms of incarceration".

    I hope that you enjoy reading (and sharing) these papers!


  • 22 May 2018 12:06 | Narith NON

    “Sociology of Law” is the term that starts everything about what I want to share here with what I have learned from Basque Culture. I am currently a master’s student of Sociology of Law at the International Institute of Sociology of Law located in a small and beautiful city called Oñati, in the Spanish Basque Country. The experiences I acquired from living in Oñati have changed my life.

    The program is more interesting than I could have ever imagined. The professors and master’s students attending the program come from different countries around the world, which has allowed me to learn not just a particular knowledge of Sociology of Law, but also from different cultures and diverse social experience from every corner of the world and apply a theoretical perspective in class.

    At the same time, we all get to know a beautiful culture from the very place where we live: The Basque Culture. Beside the basic thing we learned which is Euskara, the Basque language, everyone appreciates and loves “Pintxo Pote,” every Thursday, which is the way you buy a drink in a bar and you get one Pintxo for free. A pintxo is kind of small sandwich or snack, the very typical food in most parts of the Basque Country. This culture encourages socialization in the whole society regardless of age, race, sex, and so on.

    I am most grateful for the three different kinds of grants I received during the course, especially the three months grant for resident stay from the institute and the grant for a meal and a trip around the Basque country from a professor who taught in the program. As I come from Cambodia, located in South-East Asia, it has been a great opportunity to travel to different places as much as I can. Regardless of my limited financial means, the generous professors in the program left some money for students in need. I am not the only one who received the aforementioned grants. With the grant to travel around the Basque Country, I had the chance to learn more from their culture and history especially their solidarity and kindness. It would have been a shame for me to travel from my country to here without being able to know such beautiful places and rich culture. I have learned so much from the Basque people. I travelled to the northern part, which is in France,(San Juan De Luz) to parts further South, close to Bilbao (San Juan De Gaztelugatxe). I also learned how to cook Basque food.

    Currently, I am back in my home country doing field research for my thesis. I brought back many memories and experience and ready to go further with working life with confidence and proud. 

  • 3 May 2018 02:55 | Emma Hyndman

    Classes may have come to an end but that doesn’t mean we are done publishing interviews with this year’s students! Most have returned home to complete their thesis, due for completion in August. This edition of "Meet our Kuadrilla” features Jolanta Sawicka from Białystok, Poland, a philosopher simultaneously completing her Ph.D. from the University of Warsaw; and Nick Frijns, from Maastricht, Netherlands, completing his third master’s here in Oñati. He previously studied Dutch law, Criminal law and Criminology & Forensics at Maastricht University. This is the last interview from our series, we hope you enjoyed learning more about the 2017-2018 students! Enjoy and share!

    Jola: How are you feeling, Nick?

    Nick: I feel exhausted!

    Jola: I  feel exhausted, too. Since December I’ve been sick with a cough.

    Nick: I’m more exhausted from the work but I see where you are coming from. What are you going to miss the most?

    Jola: You!… And I will miss the stress.

    *Everyone laughs*

    Jola: I will miss to a certain extent this changeability every two weeks…And for sure I will miss Oñati in general.

    Nick: Same for me. I will really miss this town. I’ve never experienced a town like this…

    Jola: It’s quite interesting. You come from a really big metropolitan European city --

    Nick: --It’s not that big!

    Jola: How big is it?

    Nick: Maastricht is small, 150.000 people tops

    Jola: Oh similar to my town [Białystok], about 300,000 thousand people… But even coming from a small city, I can go even smaller… and even then I can get lost!

    Nick: After a week I thought I had the town figured out but even now I’m discovering something new.

    Jola: Even here I have had so many first times….my first guitar concert at Txaketua, without any professional lessons.

    Nick: You only know two chords but you know how to play them well!

    Jola: Three maybe… There was also the first time I played the drums (its quite interesting). My Euskera lessons. I will miss this first times here. It puts a stamp on my life.

    Nick: Life changing moments, it makes you nostalgic. I’m already nostalgic with this last week!

    Jola: It’s situation like then when something stuck in your throat. „No more pintxo-pote? Oh no!” We can agree that this town, is a really special place. What about the Institute?

    Nick: The Institute is quite peculiar.

    Jola: But what about the idea to organize courses with people from around the world. Is it helpful to learn something more or new from the socio-legal field and to have people from other contexts: social, cultural, philosophical? Is it helpful, or not, from your perspective?

    Nick: Some people found this master’s to be too sociological, some find it too focused on the law. So already people are approaching this all from different perspectives. It’s very interdisciplinary. It’s not just sociology, not just law, and sometimes it’s very political.

    Jola: Hmmm… I was also thinking about the reason why I came here. It was to learn about the relations between law and sociology since my background is in philosophy. I am the only person here who studied only philosophy with no experience in law or sociology. When you have the possibility to talk to people from different countries, you can see the different approaches. Moreover, in Poland, we don’t have such a mixed class. Even when we have people from Erasmus, they are usually organized in one group. But here we have America, Australia, Latin America, and you can see differences not only in approaches but even in the education process. In two weeks we are finishing an essay! In Poland you have a semester that is few months long and not every course is finished by an essay but rather  ends with an exam. Or maybe because of my philosophy background I need more time to rethink of a topic and write and this two-week rhythm was too fast sometimes.

    Nick: I thought I knew what an international environment was…Maastricht is very diverse but not as compared to here. In Maastricht people come from Europe for the most part. But you notice here that Europe is in the minority and you can see the similarities within Europe and then other cultures outside of Europe that are way different as well. That for me was a real eye opener!

    Jola: Full of experiences. No regrets, Nick?

    Nick: Of course not, I will return.

    Jola: You should, just for pintxo-pote.

    Nick: You came in here as a philosopher, so are you going home with more questions?

    Jola: Yes, yes that’s true. More questions and more doubts.

    Nick: I thought so.

  • 26 Apr 2018 15:27 | Lucero Ibarra Rojas (Administrator)
    April 26th is the World Intellectual Property Day and, this year, the celebration goes under the theme “Powering change: Women in innovation and creativity”. With this, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) seeks to highlight women’s role in the creative field, both in arts and in science.
    “The time is ripe to reflect on ways to ensure that increasing numbers of women and girls across the globe engage in innovation and creativity, and why this is so important.”[1].
    This call to show women’s contributions remains necessary. There are plenty of cases in history in which artists have used pseudonyms to hide or disguise that they are women, and accounts of female scientists that have made great contributions to science only to be ignored while their male colleagues were recognized (Marie Curie herself almost didn’t get her Nobel). As a consequence, our voices have been much less heard.
    While contemporarily many aspects have improved, others continue pending. The International Labor Organization (ILO) study “Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men”[2]indicates that gender disparities in the work sphere are reduced as education increases, however, women remain with less access to both education and payed work. The same study also indicates that there are still over 20% of people worldwide who think that women in fact shouldn’t work outside the household.
    In the academic field, women’s creativity and intellect continues to face huge challenges expressed in well known problems such as the payment gap, the glass ceilings or the maternity penalty. Women are paid less, occupy less higher positions and face grave consequences in our career because of poor conditions for motherhood. In addition, a series of studies have documented “what we already know” about the subtle (and not so subtle) ways in which our work is undervalued: from less favorable student evaluations[3], less quotations[4]and syllabus inclusion, to excessive representation in administrative duties[5]and even the fact that the notion of imposter syndrome (as the constant fear to be found as a fraud) was coined in a study on the psychology of women in academia[6]. This without even mentioning the sexual harassment in academia cases that have come to light and that recently motivated the creation of a Special Committee against Harassment in the Latin American Studies Association (well done LASA!). Despite all this, and without a doubt, the creative processes of academia are widely acknowledged and legitimated.
    If we join the World Intellectual Property Day as “an opportunity to highlight how the intellectual property (IP) system can support innovative and creative women (and indeed everyone) in their quest to bring their amazing ideas to market”[7], we must look beyond academia’s Ivory tower, which is actually rather favoured by intellectual property models. A wider view shows that there are female creativities and knowledges that are even further from recognition, that intellectual property’s coloniality is particularly damaging for women, and that a feminist critique calls for a reconsideration of intellectual property.
    As in many other productive aspects, women are only recognized as we generate value in spaces that are historically male; while historically female spaces are kept invisible. The intellectual property rights system based on the author’s genius and disregarding of collective creativities that share a closer link with tradition, hinders creative environments that are frequently female dominated, as can be artisanship (as a field that is conceptually different from art, and valued differently as well) or all the everyday knowledges that are unnamed by science (like the medicine of common wisdom or the one resulting from activities of caring for the family and home).These are the knowledges outside the books.
    The matter, however, is not that the creativity of many women cannot fit the intellectual property rights system, but rather that creative experience shows the limits of the law. To begin with, not all extraordinary ideas belong in the market, nor are monopolies (which is what intellectual property establishes) the only way to acknowledge the value of an idea. Although those of us who know Mexican artisans also know that the lack of recognition is based on a classist and racist undermining of the work of many women on profoundly unfair economic conditions. Women who live their creativity in collective process that go beyond personal talent, who sometimes argue and who often organize themselves. The many female artisan cooperatives that one can find are not always, or not necessarily, an expression of harmony, but rather an acknowledgement of shared needs and creativities. Several arguments are built from these spaces for an acknowledgement made from sharing logics, as can be seen in Santa María Tlahuitoltepec’s statement[8]against the improper appropriation in the hands of French fashion brands.
    In the same sense, open access feminist theories hold that ideas are not independent, as people create in social relations networks. Therefore, author’s rights should establish interaction rules with the users, instead of enabling exclusion mechanisms[9]. But far from being an isolated and exceptional view on creative processes, it is shared by different collectives and scholars who favor collaboration with social actors. Indeed, at the center of collaborative and activist methodologies one can find an ethics of shared production that has little to do with the exclusion strategies that are later expressed, rather thoughtlessly, by the assertion of authorship from traditional forms of intellectual property.
    Thus, to the problems that privileged women who decide to develop in historically male environments face, we must add the complete disregard of any value for the spaces, creativities and intellectual endeavors developed in historically female environments. In the earlier we are yet to achieve equality; the latter remain unnamed. In that sense, a true appreciation of women in creativity and innovation requires that we think over the paradigms of intellectual property and other aspects of regulation in which law determines what we consider knowledge, art or science. And in this endeavor, it is fundamental we engage with the feminist critiques and the proposals that are made from recognition ethics that do not entail monopolies.

    Lucero Ibarra Rojas

    (Professor at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics - CIDE)

     “I do not think I ever opened a book in my life which had not something to say upon woman's inconstancy. Songs and proverbs, all talk of woman's fickleness. But perhaps you will say, these were all written by men."

    "Perhaps I shall. Yes, yes, if you please, no reference to examples in books. Men have had every advantage of us in telling their own story. Education has been theirs in so much higher a degree; the pen has been in their hands. I will not allow books to prove anything.”

    Jane Austen, Persuasión, 1818.

    [1] http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

    [2] Gallup Institute y International Labour Organization, Towards a better future for women and work: Voices of women and men (Geneva: International Labour Organization, 2017).

    [3] Kristina M. W. Mitchell y Jonathan Martin, “Gender Bias in Student Evaluations”, PS: Political Science & Politics, 2018, 1–5.

    [4] Daniel Maliniak, Ryan Powers, y Barbara F. Walter, “The Gender Citation Gap in International Relations”, International Organization, 67.4 (2018), 889–922.

    [5] Cassandra M. Guarino y Victor M.H. Borden, “Faculty Service Loads and Gender: Are Women Taking Care of the Academic Family?”, Research in Higher Education, 58.6 (2017), 672–94.

    [6] Pauline Rose Clance y Suzanne Ament Imes, “The imposter phenomenon in high achieving women: Dynamics and therapeutic intervention.”, Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 15.3 (1978), 241–47.

    [7] http://www.wipo.int/ip-outreach/en/ipday/

    [8] https://twitter.com/MunicipioTlahui/status/606142512235823104

    [9] Carys J. Craig, Joseph F. Turcotte, and Rosemary J. Coombe, “What’s feminist about open access? A relational approach to copyright in the academy”, Feminist@law, 1.1 (2011), 1–35.

  • 24 Apr 2018 17:58 | Emma Hyndman

    In this edition of "Meet our Kuadrilla" we spotlight Deborah Kim from Brisbane, Australia and James Campbell, from Glasgow, Scotland. While their respective thesis topics couldn't be more different within the socio-legal field, they both approached the master's looking for a new and challenging way to understand the law. Check out what they have to say below!


    James: I grew up in Glasgow, lived in London, and came to Oñati from there ... the size is very different but the community life, the way people are ... people have a good life here. They are generally pretty happy. They live life well. I'll miss the community feeling, there's nothing like this when I'm from.  

    Deb: I have lived in a big city most of my life and never lived in a town this small. This will probably remain a very unique experience and the community really grew on me. The Basque people are soft at heart! 

    James: Incredibly generous. What made you decide to leave everything in Australia to come here? 

    Deb: I was recommended this program as a leading socio-legal institute with a strong research focus, as well as opportunities to meet scholars from all over the world. 

     James: The sacrifice was worth it? 

    Deb: By coming here and engaging with the program, I have gained a broader, more diverse perspective on many things I thought I knew to be true. It's made me question and re-analyze a lot of my pre-existing beliefs and attitudes! How about you?  

    James: I wanted to do a specialist masters in the area that I enjoy working in, scholarly wise. I also wanted to come to the town! Strangely, I fell in love with the town through pictures before I came to Oñati ... it's an amazing place, an unbelievably cool combination of the study side of things and the experience … 

    Deb: Did you engage with the Basque life a lot?  

    James: I perhaps engaged too much! I enjoyed it. Met a lot of lovely people and had a lot of fun times. I think I did. Would you do anything differently?  

    Deb: Since I came here without knowing much about the town and the Institute, I feel like I let a lot of opportunities to engage in the Basque local life slip by. Yes, I don't speak Spanish, but I wish I had been more adventurous in the beginning and taken advantage of all of that. Would you change anything?  

    James: No, I don't think so. In retrospect, I just about got the balance right. You want to get the most out of the people, the professors, the visiting scholars, but you also want to do your own work and have fun. I probably would have wanted to see more of the Basque country, the small towns. And being able to communicate … 

    Deb: I'm still not a very good Spanish communicator. 

    James: I can order a coffee.  

    Deb: I can order a coffee … and pastries! A few of us also took Basque lessons at the beginning of the semester which was fun and I think the people here really appreciated the attempt to speak to them in Basque.  

    James: That's challenging though because you can "Kafe esne bat" but then they respond and…. 

    Deb: I'll miss the people that I got to know.  

    James: I'm quite nearby ... relatively speaking. 

    Deb: Can't say the same for myself!

  • 23 Mar 2018 11:03 | Pamela Teutli (Administrator)

    Seguimos honorando Marzo como el mes internacional de la mujer, y en esta segunda edición especial de “Conoce a nuestra kuadrilla” entrevistamos a Izabela Zonato de São Paulo, Brasil, abogada por la Universidad Presbiteriana Mackenzie y con interés en temas de migración, derechos humanos y derechos de grupos minoritarios; y Nicole Velasco de Cali, Colombia, investigadora de la Universidad Libre de Colombia y con interés en temas de derecho constitucional, cultura jurídica y diversidad étnica. Ellas nos comparten un poco sobre su experiencia en Oñati a semanas de finalizar el Master, con algunos tips para las futuras generaciones. ¡Disfruten y compartan!

    *Puedes leer esta entrevista en inglés aquí

    El IISJ es conocido por su excelente claustro académico y la interacción directa que se genera entre profesores y estudiantes ¿cómo consideran que ha sido la interacción con los profesores?

    Izabela: El Instituto nos da una gran oportunidad de tener un acceso más amplio y abierto con los profesores. Nos comparten sus historias y concomimiento en muchas áreas, y nos recuerdan que alguna vez estuvieron en nuestro lugar. He tenido la oportunidad de entrevistar a los profesores y esto me ha permitido ver todo lo que han tenido que pasar para poder llegar a donde ahora están, y no solo es un aprendizaje para mí, sino también para mis compañeros del Master y los miembros de Oñati community, el propósito al final es que otras personas conozcan más sobre los maestros y como se relacionan con el IISJ.

    Nota de la editora: No olvides ver las entrevistas de Izabela con Martin Krygier y Jill Hunter

    Nicole: Yo pienso que la dinámica de cercanía entre los profesores y estudiantes es muy interesante en cuanto a que compartimos muchas actividades. El hecho de que vivan en la residencia con nosotros y compartir dentro y fuera del aula, hacen que la relación entre profesor y estudiante sea más cercana. Aunque solo convivamos por dos semanas, se crean lazos de igualdad y no la típica relación de superioridad, se da más una amistad y compañerismo que el Instituto ayuda a crear.

    Izabela: ¿Qué oportunidades futuras crees que te ha dado el Instituto. Por ejemplo saber sobre las conferencias internacionales, como las que vienen en Lisboa y Canadá?.

    Nicole: Las oportunidades por parte de profesores y visiting scholars son inmensas. Por ejemplo con Lucero Ibarra de México, ella me explicó sobre su proceso como editora de revista, sus experiencias en la academia y toda esa información para mi es muy útil e importante. También Lais Górski de Brasil, que nos platicó sobre las practicas actuales en el campo de la sociología jurídica que nos da una perspectiva más amplia de la actividad académica en el día a día.

    Izabela: Estoy de acuerdo y creo que no solo de los profesores podemos aprender a partir de su experiencia pero los contactos con los visiting scholars que están trabajando en su PhD u otras investigaciones, también son muy importantes. Como dijo Nicole, la visita de Lais por ejemplo me abrió la oportunidad de trabajar juntas en Brasil, con solo tres semanas de convivir en Oñati, o la invitación de Valerija Grozdic de Serbia para tomar un curso en su universidad. Esta es una gran oportunidad para todos los que pertenecemos a la comunidad de Oñati, tenemos contacto con académicos en todo el mundo.

    Nicole. Y hablando de la convivencia, ¿qué es lo más divertido que recuerdes de los estudiante y profesores compartiendo?

    Izabela. ¡La ultima clase con Boaventura! Todos bailando, recitando poesía, cantando y compartiendo diferentes formas de arte de todas partes del mundo. ¿Para ti?

    Nicole: Yo tengo un muy buen recuerdo con Martin Krygier, cuando nos invitó a pinxto-pote, fue compartir una actividad típica de Oñati y nos permitió convivir y conocernos mejor fuera de clase.

    Izabela: Ya que estamos por terminar el Master ¿cómo describes tu crecimiento personal con esta experiencia?

    Nicole: Es una experiencia de la cual aprendemos en todo momento, mi crecimiento es ser más consciente y reflexiva sobre las cosas y eso quiero aplicar en mi país. Pues la experiencia de vivir en Europa es muy distinta al contexto en el que vivo en Colombia, tanto el tipo de conocimiento que se genera como la forma de vida, y eso es algo que puedo aplicar en un diálogo con el sur, como nos decía Boaventura en clase.

    Izabela: Yo creo que aprendí a ser más comprensiva y aprender gracias a la diversidad cultural del Master. He aprendido a tener más paciencia para lidiar con las cosas del día a día, ver que  cosas que para mí parecían complejas, en otras culturas son muy simples.

  • 23 Mar 2018 11:03 | Emma Hyndman

    As we continue to honor March as the international month for women, we present this second special edition of "Meet our Kuadrilla” with an interview featuring Izabela Zonato from São Paulo, Brazil, an attorney for the Mackenzie Presbyterian University with an interest in migration, human rights and rights of minority groups; and Nicole Velasco from Cali, Colombia, a researcher at the Free University of Colombia interested in constitutional law, legal culture and ethnic diversity. They share some insight about their experience in Oñati with only a week of classes remaining, including some tips for future students. Enjoy and share!

    *You can read this interview in Spanish here.*

    Starting Question: The IISJ is known for its excellent visiting academic faculty with direct interactions that generate close working relations between professors and students. Can you share a bit about your interactions with the professors?

    Izabela: The Institute gives us a great opportunity to have open access to professors. They share their stories and knowledges in many areas, and remind us that they were once in our place. I have had the opportunity to interview many of them which has allowed me to see everything they have had to go through get where they are now. It is not only a learning experience for me, but also for my colleagues and members of the Master Oñati community. In the end, the purpose is for other people know more about the teachers and how they relate to the IISJ.

    Editor’s note: Check out Izabela’s interviews with Martin Krygier and Jill Hunter

    Nicole: I think that the dynamic of closeness between teachers and students is very interesting in that we share many activities. The fact that they live in the residence with us and share life with us inside and outside the classroom, makes the relationship between teacher and student even closer. Although we only live together for two weeks at a time, bonds of equality are created that is not the typical relationship of superiority, there is more friendship and companionship that the Institute helps create.

    Izabela: What future opportunities do you think the Institute has created for you? For example, the international conferences, such as those coming up in Lisbon and Canada?

    Nicole: The opportunities from the professors and visiting scholars are immense. For example, with Lucero Ibarra from Mexico, she told me about her process as a journal editor, her experiences in academia and all that information is very useful and important to me Also Lais Górski, from Brazil, who told us about current practices in the field of legal sociology that gives us a broader perspective of academic activity on a day-to-day basis.

    Izabela: I agree, and I think that it is not just the professors who we can learn from their experiences but also the connections we make with the visiting scholars who are working on their PhD or other research, are also very important. As Nicole said, the visit of Lais for example opened the opportunity for me to work together in Brazil, after only knowing her for the three weeks she spent in Oñati, or the invitation of Valerija Grozdic from Serbia to take a course at her university. This is a great opportunity for all of us who belong to the Oñati community, we have contact with academics all over the world.

    Nicole And speaking of living together, what is the most fun you remember sharing with the students and teachers?

    Izabela: The last class with Boaventura! We danced, recited poetry, sang, and shared different forms of art from all over the world. How about you?

    Nicole: I have a very good memory of Martin Kryiger, when he invited us pintxo-pote, a very typical activity in Oñati that allows us all to come together and get to know each other better outside of class.

    Izabela: And now that we are about to finish the Master’s classes, who would you describe your personal growth with this experience?

    Nicole: It is an experience where we are learning at all moments, and my growth comes from being more aware and reflective of the things I want to bring back to my country. Living in Europe is a very different experience from my Colombia context, both types of knowledges generate the way of life and that is something that I can apply in a dialogue with the global South, as we said Boaventura’s in class.

    Izabela: I think I learned to be more understanding and thanks to the cultural diversity of the Master. I have learned to have more patience in dealing with day-to-day things. What seemed complex to me is very simple in other cultures.

  • 16 Mar 2018 01:30 | Izabela Zonato Villas Boas

    Marielle Franco. Woman. Black. Mother. Lesbian. Born in Favela. Dead.

    Marielle was the fifth most voted councilwoman in the city of Rio de Janeiro for the Socialism and Freedom Party (Partido Socialismo e Liberdade - PSOL), a defender of human rights, the rights of black women and residents of favelas and peripheries known for giving voice to victims of violence in the state.

    As widely reported to the world, Rio de Janeiro is under military military intervention due to the Federal Government's request because of the large number of crimes and violence, mainly related to drug trafficking.

    Because of this, on 28 February was appointed as the rapporteur of the committee that will accompany the intervention in Rio de Janeiro and on the last Sunday (11/03/2018), four days before her murder, Marielle denounced on her facebook the Military Police of the 41st Military Police Battalion of Rio de Janeiro for violation of rights and extermination in a community of the city.

    Murdered the night of March 14, after leaving an event with black women activists in the center of Rio de Janeiro. The reports of the crime are that the criminals shot several times against the car in which it was, its driver and its accessory (the only survivor), did not take any object, making clear the image of an execution.

    The murder had a great repercussion and solidarity with people all over the world. As a result, social manifestations asking for a radical investigation into the death of Marielle and also the end of the violence occurred in most of the capitals of the Brazilian states, especially in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Salvador (where the World Social Forum is taking place) from other countries such as Germany, Argentina Chile, USA, France and Portugal.
    Apparently, we are facing a Brazil that criminalizes poverty and also those who fight against the criminalization of poverty.
    A brilliant defender of so many minorities who ended up dead. But her fight is not over, we will make this mourning a big fight.

    Izabela Zonato Villas Boas, (IISL)

  • 15 Mar 2018 14:58 | Pamela Teutli (Administrator)

    Feliz mes internacional de la Mujer - ¡Uy, nos referimos a marzo! Nos tomamos el tiempo para platicar con algunas de nuestras increíbles y feministas compañeras de maestría para las siguientes dos instalaciones de "Conoce a nuestra Kuadrilla". Jomarie Rivera García, de Puerto Rico, estudió Sociología y Psicología en la Universidad de Puerto Rico en San Juan con un énfasis en criminología, violencia y pobreza. Emma Hyndman es de Estados Unidos, donde completó su licenciatura en Ciencias Políticas y Estudios de Género en la Universidad de Santa Clara en California. Su tema de tesis examina la intersección del estado y la violencia sexual. ¡Disfruta de esta conversación que tuvieron nuestras compañeras sobre dónde se ven luego de completar su maestría!

    ¿Cómo ha sido tu experiencia en este máster y qué impacto crees que tendrá en tus objetivos profesionales?

    Emma: Estoy emocionada de llevar todo lo que aprendí a los Estados Unidos y ponerlo en uso cuando empiece mi licenciatura en derecho en los próximos años. Ese fue mi principal objetivo al venir al programa: tener una visión diferente del Derecho y conocer a personas que trabajan en diferentes ámbitos relacionados con este.

    Joma: ¡Te entiendo! Este programa ha de-construido muchos problemas principales del Derecho, por lo que también te ayudará a abordarlos desde una perspectiva diferente

    Emma: Sí, definitivamente. ¿Y tú? Sé que planeas en empezar un Doctorado en el futuro…

    Joma: ¡Sí! y aunque no estoy seguro de si voy a seguir en el área de la sociología jurídica, esta experiencia no solo me ha dado una perspectiva en ambos campos, sino que también ha cambiado muchas cosas en mi vida personal. En ese sentido, me llevo de Oñati, ambas, lecciones de vida y académicas. Crecí aquí en Oñati.

    Emma: ¡También es la primera vez que cualquiera de nosotras ha vivido en una ciudad tan pequeña!

    Joma: Sí, también ha sido la primera vez que vivo en el extranjero, pero ha superado todas mis expectativas. Tengo un crecimiento en un nivel espiritual y lo principal que me llevo a casa es la experiencia de conocer a tantos intelectuales, no solo hablando de los profesores sino también mis compañeros y compañeras de clase, como Pam, de México, es una feminista tan fuerte y he aprendido mucho de ella, a defenderme por mi misma y a ser consciente de muchas prácticas violentas hacia las mujeres que han sido naturalizadas. O mi compañera de cuarto y amiga Claudia, quien es una fuerte activista crítica en Colombia, y que ha hecho tanto para producir cambios sociales muy importantes para la gente pobre en Medellín. También está Narith, de Camboya, una persona humilde y trabajadora y muy valioso amigo, con una historia admirable, me ha ayudado a reconocer los privilegios que me he naturalizado como mujer occidental. ¡También tu Emma! Aprendí muchísimo sobre tu disciplina académica y pensamiento crítico. Realmente te admiro. En ese sentido, todos ustedes han contribuido a cambiar mi cosmovisión y la forma en que entiendo la vida.

    Emma: Estoy de acuerdo. No solo de los otros estudiantes, sino también de los visiting scholars. Ha sido increíble conocer a tantas personas que están haciendo su doctorado y nos comparten sus perspectivas de sus países y actúan como nuestros mentores.

    Joma: Y nos han dado información sobre programas en su país. El Instituto nos ha abierto las puertas a tantas oportunidades en todo el mundo, que no hubiera tenido en Puerto Rico. El próximo mes iré a Serbia para explorar el programa de Sociología en la Universidad de Belgrado gracias a Valeria Grozdic, quien me recibirá.

    ¿Y qué sigue para ustedes?

    Emma: No puedo decir cuál será mi próximo paso, aun lo estoy averiguando, pero es emocionante tener la oportunidad de aprender de personas fuera de los EE. UU. Estar aquí ha significado la oportunidad de hacer preguntas de una manera diferente y aprende de manera diferente. Si bien mi educación en Estados Unidos me enseñó a priorizar el pensamiento crítico, no he tenido la oportunidad de aprender de otros países del mundo. Pero estoy emocionado de llevar conmigo lo que he aprendido de otros contextos y países, como lo que he aprendido sobre Puerto Rico gracias a ti, Joma.

    Joma: Estoy de acuerdo, y como mencioné, lo que más valoro de estar aquí es el crecimiento personal. Necesito reconocer que este programa y la vida en Oñati me han sacado de mi zona de confort, no solo académicamente, ya que el Derecho no es mi formación académica, sino toda la experiencia. Me hace sentir poderosa, como si no hubiera barreras para mí. Ahora sé que soy capaz de poder estudiar en cualquier parte del mundo.

    Emma: ¡Estoy completamente de acuerdo contigo!

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