Farewell, in hope

I am terrible with goodbyes and I owe it to my Southern Mediterranean background. Our goodbyes, while standing by the door, often extend longer than the actual home visits. So, I am, for the first time, grateful for my 500-word limit for this column.

This is my last contribution to UKrant, at least as a columnist. Three months ago, I made the decision to step down when I realized the power that this platform has. It was my first day at the neighborhood’s gym when Farida, an older Moroccan woman, approached me with a culturally familiar and beautifully unwavering attitude to say ‘I know you from the newspaper’.  Since then, Thursday mornings at the gym have become more about the newspaper than the weights.  

It is precisely this power of having a voice in mainstream media that I choose not to monopolise. As a big supporter of diversity, for reasons that go beyond my very existence, I am stepping down to make space for other voices to be heard.  

Over the past year, I wrote 24 pieces on a range of issues aligned with my professional goal: to re-imagine science and education for more hopeful futures.  This is why I don’t write about bees and birds and bikes. I will not entertain you at a time when the world is crumbling down.

I am not a jukebox. I will not waste my 500 words while neoliberalism is threatening public education with machineries of social and civil death. I will not pretend to be neutral through devastating events and dystopian presents to fit in. I will ‘stay with the trouble’ in true Donna Haraway style, through caring, knowing, and acting from an obvious ethical duty.  

I will not pretend to be neutral through devastating events and dystopian presents to fit in

Inasmuch as this might come as a surprise to some readers, hopeful futures are inseparable from science and education, and science and education are inseparable from socio-political events, gender and other identities, climate change, internationalisation, polarisation, and the AI hype. Hopeful futures depend on both science and education. 

And, because I am much more interested in the future than the past, I refrain from spending any more words on what I said already. Instead, I leave you with my vision: more hopeful futures are possible.

Goodbye, dear readers. Thank you for the love, the free psychoanalysis and unsolicited advice, the antagonism and the solidarity. I am grateful to those who critically engaged with my pieces and forced me to do better. To those who had to post their rage comments anonymously, I extend my apologies on behalf of educational systems that failed to equip you with more courage. 

It’s been a growing experience. I would do it again, and I would not change a thing. I will always stay with the trouble. It’s my way to resist the arrogance of the Anthropocene. Where will you be?

LUCY AVRAAMIDOU

Engels

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