Dr. Paula Salvio
How do education and the youth-based anti-Mafia movement in Sicily that you have been studying relate to sustainability?
It is important to recognize that organized crime is not confined to the south of Italy but is global. The youth-based anti-crime movements in Sicily offer educators examples of how collective intellectual and artistic creation and emerging screen cultures can revitalize societies, challenge communities to consider what is worth sustaining, and assist people in engaging with ecological, cultural and societal issues.
How does your work as an educational theorist with specializations in feminist and literary theory, continental philosophy and psychoanalysis connect with sustainability?
Global media report on the persistent erosion of girls’ and women’s rights to an education and how rising income inequality, breakdowns in the rule of law, and the increase in displaced and stateless persons impact ecologies of education. Political and economic institutions, both national and international, implicated in creating these critical situations now struggle to respond, often with inadequate or counter-productive “reforms.” As a teacher, I emphasize the responsibility educators have to expand awareness of these issues and to research and design school and community based pedagogical approaches that can inspire, inform and guide constructive, sustainable deliberative action. I draw on the humanities and arts to address these challenges.
What motivates you personally to be involved in sustainability?
I spend a lot of time in urban schools and community centers where people work together to demystify public policies and to create and sustain more diverse community participation. The teachers, students and activists I work with are my greatest source of inspiration.