Jeremi and Zachary discuss youth political activism in Latin America with Dr. Andrés González.
Dr. Andrés González is a political scientist based in Quito-Ecuador. He obtained his Ph. D. in Political Science and International Relations at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich and has taught in several universities and high schools in Germany and Ecuador. He is currently the President and Academic Director of POLITIKUM, an independent education corporation focused on citizenship and political education for students of all levels in three languages. See their website: https://www.politikumecuador.com. Dr. González is also the author of the book, Governance for the 21st Century: The Fight Against Corruption in Latin America (LIT Verlag).
- Dr. Andrés GonzálezPresident of POLITIKUM
This is Democracy 183
[00:00:00] Narrator: This is democracy, a podcast about the people of
the United States, a podcast about citizenship,
about engaging with politics and the world around you. A podcast about educating yourself on today’s important issues and how to have a voice in what happens next.
[00:00:26] Jeremi: Welcome to our new episode of this is democracy this week. Uh, we are very fortunate to have with us an expert on political change and democratic activism, especially among young people in Latin, America. We are joined, uh, by a new friend who I had the opportunity to work with on a large international model UN conference.
Uh, this is Dr. Andres Gonzalez. Uh, he’s a political scientist based in Quito, Ecuador. He’s speaking to us from Quito today. He obtained his PhD in political science and international relations from one of my favorite universities in Europe, where I also had the opportunity to spend some time. Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich.
And he has taught in several universities and high schools in Germany and Ecuador. He’s absolutely fluent in English, German, and Spanish, as well as other languages. I’m sure putting me to shame with my broken German in broken French and other things. Uh, he’s currently president and academic director of a really interesting, outstanding institution.
I encourage people to look up their website. It is called the political. Um, and we will also have the website on our website. They were an independent education corporation focused on citizenship and political education. Exactly what we’re interested in every week on our podcast, uh, for students of all levels and multi languages and multiple, multiple cultural backgrounds.
Andres is also the author of a book governance for the 21st century. The fight against corruption in Latin America. Andreas, thank you so much for joining us.
[00:02:02] Andrés: Well, thank you for the invitation, Jeremy and Zach. I’m very pleased to join you from the middle of the world, from the middle
[00:02:10] Jeremi: of the world. Yes, Zachary.
Uh, what is the title of your poem today
[00:02:16] Zachary: in the aftermath? In the aftermath? Okay, well, let’s hear it. In the aftermath, they saw the flags turn into dollar signs and battle songs, fold into jingles and cigarette ads, not hope, but as cynical, greed, not hate, but a shadowy sort of apathy. And now they are seeing their assault flats become factories.
Their oceans overflowing their rivers purple on good days, brown. In the Backwoods dreaming may be in a slum or a favela singing, perhaps sitting on a bus in a cold rain whistling in the aftermath of a hurricane. There is something recaptured, reborn, a true hope, a real hate, no longer, just a blank. Stare the poet, escaping the dictator on horseback, looks back at his pursuers and seasoned them.
The weight of history. Not insurmountable, but difficult, not impersonal, but difficult. Now in the halls, hallowed, hollowed out like pumpkin’s as if I can involve, they have dared to see the sort of future. No one else can. It is seeping out of the mountains. It makes its way through the Hills, jungles and cities like a silent fog, not sinister, but disconcerting.
[00:03:42] Jeremi: That’s a very moving poem, Zachary and I love the rocks.
[00:03:45] Andrés: Yeah. Congratulations on that. Very full of seven. Thank you.
[00:03:51] Jeremi: What is your poem about Zachary?
[00:03:52] Zachary: Well, my poem is really about, uh, trying to understand, uh, the moment that young people face in Latin America today. Um, obviously it’s not something I’m very closely acquainted with, but I tried to connect it sort of to, to my experience as a young person.
And, um, so this sense of history. Both comforting and hopeful, but also also a deeply suffocating and problematic. Yes.
[00:04:18] Andrés: Yes.
[00:04:19] Jeremi: Andres, I think that’s such a good place to start our conversation. Um, how have you seen activism among young people? Those who you now teach and mentor? How is it different from when you were a young man?
Not that long ago,
[00:04:35] Andrés: actually. Yeah, but. Saying there are certain parallels and there are certain things that are different. Um, I think one of the major changes so far is that social media and technology have become the fueling element of protest. I remember that the prime minister of the UK, when he referred to.
The events in Egypt when they over through, um, uh, Hosni Mubarak. He called it not occluded tar, but I couldn’t text because the people started to get together via text message. They started to organize via text messages. And I thought of that concept being very interesting because I see that the change that we have right now is that young people are using the technology to get informed, but also to organize that is a double edged sword, because of course you want in a democracy, of course, political participation.
You want people to join. Political institutions, political organizations, or to create something, but the organization of practice happens without any. Any control whatsoever from any state institution, meaning that tomorrow there could be, you know, practice or strike and no one from the government will know until it happens.
Right. You know? And so I think that’s, that’s one thing that has changed now, the parallel parallels that I want to make for one hour as a teenager is that people are not young. People are not necessarily familiar and friendly with the term. Yes. And, and let me tell you my, my experience with political science.
I wanted to be a journalist when I started college or university in Munich, and then I had to take political science as a minor. It was an obligatory minor, and I thought. That’s not gonna work because I am not interested in politics. I hate politics because at that time here in Ecuador, politics were very violent in terms of, you know, the classical scene of politicians punching each other’s faces in Congress.
Right. And I thought this is not going to work. I went to my first lecture on political science. And I fell in love and I said, what is this world? And then ever since then, my love affair with political science and with political issues and bringing them to young people has been ongoing. It’s like a long-lasting marriage.
But the problem is that we see a disenchantment of young people because they always feel betrayed and that has not. Change in the last, let’s say 30 years here in Latin America, at least they feel betrayed by the political establishment. Not only because of promises not being fulfilled, but rather by not allowing access to young people to express themselves, to participate, to generate a change.
[00:08:04] Zachary: Uh, how do you think, uh, the past a year or so of pandemic and a democratic chaos, if you will, has changed how young people are involved in politics?
[00:08:16] Andrés: I think the pandemic triggered a couple of things that were Latin. They were hiding under the surface, and then all of a sudden they exploded and take a look at what happened in Colombia last year.
Young people took the streets in the main series, bullet Dom and the Dean golly. And they were promising because of a lot of things that were issues before the pandemic, but gets a lot worse during the pandemic, the economic inequality. For example, I don’t see Latin America is necessarily a poor region.
It’s an unequal. It’s it’s unequally distributed. And the problem here was that those problems became on tolerable, unbearable, unmanageable for young people who, you know, they didn’t have a job who did not have a perspective what’s going to happen after the pandemic. If I studied, I dunno, tourism, and there’s no more tourism in the future because the pandemic closed everything.
Um, That triggered the people, the young people to go out on the street and say to the government, we need something new, or we need something effective for that matter because the inequality in this specialty in Latin America became wider as the pandemic stroke. Lots of people lost their jobs. Lots of people who had very good jobs, you know, lost them.
I take only the example of pilot. Pilots who flew the whole time they were grounded and they had to fly once a month, a pilot who flew normally, you know, almost every day. And they had to turn and see what alternatives there were. And there weren’t many alternatives. And so they went out to the street and they Protestant because of a disenchantment with governments who did not act as quickly as they should have, especially after, or during the.
[00:10:17] Jeremi: Uh, traditionally Andrea is at least from the United States point of view when we’ve studied, uh, social activism and protest movements in Latin America. For the last half century, there’s been an emphasis on the role of a Marxist tradition and the influence of a Fidel Castro. For example, uh, throughout the region, obviously we’re in a different moment now, is there a guiding ideology?
Is there some common framework that these protestors are appealing?
[00:10:47] Andrés: I don’t think there are real contents, political contents, like for example, in the 1960s, 1970s, the big figures of the left in Latin America turned out to be, uh, more rights than those who claim to be from the right side. And I give you the example of our former former president , who claimed to be a leftist, but his government was a government of.
Companies of private companies have dealings with, you know, international investors. And so the big news. The left in Latin America could have been a parody of Saturday night live. How, because it was neither knew nor it was left, you know? And you probably, Jeremy, maybe Zach is not doesn’t know who I referred to, but you probably remember the sketches in the 1990s about those terms.
You know, it was, it was quite, uh, Mike Myers, you know, he made these parodies and it was amazing. They proclaimed at the early two thousands, the new socialism in Latin America. And it wasn’t any of that. You take a look at all the countries. I think politics are sickly. You know, there’s left and right left and right the whole time, you know, but I think there are no more of these figures of the left.
Not even Maduro in Venezuela, not even the ousted Morales in Bolivia. There is no real guidance rather than say, let’s go against the government, but going against the government, doesn’t have this impetus of an ideology. It’s more of a practice.
[00:12:39] Jeremi: And do you think that’s good or bad?
[00:12:41] Andrés: I think that is bad because they it’s.
It’s a matter of overthrowing. Whoever is in, in, in power. And there have been here in Ecuador two years ago, pre pandemic. Well, actually three years ago, 2019 end of 2019 October, there was a big uprising because the government. Who claimed actually to be more left than brights cut down the subsidies or cap out the subsidies of fossil fuels.
And people went out to the streets, many organizations where the good organizations and the bad organizations, and they forced the president president Larry Moreno to back up, back off, I’m sorry. Be forced precedent Miranda to back off. And he declared. The, um, the decree or the law that he proclaimed as not valid.
He took it back. Why did he take it back? Because these people went out and literally burned down the city. And when I say burned down the city, there is you can Google it. Um, and there’s, you know what? Our process 2019 people went out to the street to burn down government. And it was incredible. We’ve never seen something like that, but there was an amalgamation of organization.
So young people went out to practice. Yes. But also extreme groups that had nothing to do with the practice who wanted to just ask the government. Then the indigenous movement took the streets and that is in Latin American countries. A very sensitive issue because. In the history of Latin America, these groups have always traditionally been neglected by politics, by history, by society.
And so they took the streets and it was incredible. On the one hand you could say, yes, it was the right thing to do to take the streets and fight for, you know, justice equality, but the amount of violence that was generated, it was confused. They, they, they blamed several groups amongst them, the indigenous people for the burning down of Quito and they marched on or through.
Neighborhoods who had nothing. Absolutely never seen something like that. And what I mean by this, the practice are always in the center where the government building is. Okay. So all the practice where in the historical center of Quito, but this time they marched everywhere, they, they came very close to wherever.
Where there’s nothing, no government buildings, it’s a residential area and they marched. And that was something that we’ve never seen before. Um, the airport closed for several days. I was stuck in Lima for three days, trying to come back here. And that for me, It was a bad thing that so much violence was generated and that of course, made the protest turn into something bad rather than into something good.
And until now, you know, the, the nobody knows who started the violence. So I think young people become disenchanted because of that, because they take it out in the streets, but then there’s, you know, the clashes with the police. And then after. Nothing happens. So the, the, the product of the protest in Ecuador, in Chile, in Columbia, even in Venezuela, have not given the changes that people need, or even that you mentioned, um, There was a massive movement a couple of months ago nothing’s happened.
So the young people see that this chairman and that is the big problem. That is why the continuous violence happens in several countries. It’s not only us. It’s everywhere. You’re
[00:16:41] Zachary: certainly right. That there has been a lot of violence involved in these political movements, but a lot of that violence too has come from governments.
Why is it that governments have failed to respond effectively with effective political messages or other tools to address some of these concerns?
[00:17:00] Andrés: I think the problem of all the governments that face violent protest is. I would say the progressive use of force, because at first you don’t say anything, you let them protest.
And as long as they’re peaceful, it’s fine. But then it only takes one stone to fall on, on a helmet of a carb. And then the whole thing explodes. Now the problem in a, in, in Colombia, in Cina, in Ecuador, in other countries is that there is a lot of. Of education in training in the police forces on how to act on how to, you know, make their move without engaging in violence.
That’s one of the biggest problems. Our work police force here is young men and women who have no training and they have no equipment and they have to face them out. Of people with stones and S and, and, and sticks and everything. How do you do that? And so I think that there were parallels in, in many countries of Latin America, where the, the, the police force to say, Hey, don’t blame us where we’re here actually to protect you actually, but then it was impossible to resist or impossible not to handle.
When you have such an angry mob. And it’s always something that I tell my students all the time at POLITIKUM is imagine you are the president and people are burning down your government buildings. Would you use violence and media there? Which way would you not? What would you do? And it’s incredibly striking to me.
That many young people say, if I was sitting on the chair of the president, I would send, I would send everyone to, to, you know, turn down the strikes or whatever. And that worries me because I don’t believe that violence is the solution, but it worries me because that triggers some attitudes of young people towards.
Uh, disagreements that is very dangerous because if one of these kids turns out to be the president in 20 years, and he’s not going to doubt to send police forces to protestors, uh, then we have a problem, right?
[00:19:24] Jeremi: Is there a need for more of an ideologically coherent philosophy behind the demands for reform.
What you’ve described are reactions to mistreatment, reactions, to deprivation, all of which sound reasonable and positions that many of us can sympathize with. Obviously one wouldn’t sympathize with the use of violence, but as the absence of an alternative philosophy is that. Challenge today for groups that are trying to change their governments and change the way people have.
[00:19:57] Andrés: Absolutely. I think there is a lack of knowledge about politics. There is a lack of interest about politics in my classes. I take students who don’t know what their rights are. Where their rights are embedded. Why is it important to vote? Why is it important to have information before you vote? And so people just protest for the sake of processing and people have this once again, sense of immediateness.
So what they want. It’s not the right to win or the left to win. They want a better minimum wage. They want jobs. They want, uh, fuels not to go higher. You know? So there’s a pragmatism right there. There’s no, I don’t see. And I don’t think. That many of the people, the proudest, especially the young people are ideologically or philosophically guided.
They’re guided because out of me out of need, they’re guided because they want an immediate change that will better their lives. Now the Chilean case presents a very interesting case because now we have a leftist leader, a very young one. You know, he’s still in his thirties and many people see the hope and here’s the thing.
What I think it’s very, very, very difficult. The government in Chile is love full of the people who went out on the streets. Right? So those people who were the leaders of young or youth organizations are now taking places and ministries there today to address the big question. How are they going to react to protest?
There now the government, right? So they are now in the eyes of many people. They’re now the bad guys and they turn, you know, from the street to the palace, how is that going to go? So Tina for me is a country in which we have to be very observant because of the nature of the government. And because the new president has announced that he’s, you know, complete left is et cetera, et cetera.
But at the end, At the end. I believe countries in Latin America are extremely pressed pragmatic example right now our president, uh, Guillermo Lasso went to China and he went to China to negotiate the terms of the huge amount of loans that we have with China. He doesn’t care about any philosophical or any political matters.
Of course he did not mention. Touchy shoes such as human rights or something because that’s, that’s a, no-go when you negotiate with such a big country, that’s the topic that they don’t want to touch and that’s fine, but you see it’s pragmatism. Our president is seen as a right-wing, uh, conservative president and he didn’t bother to go to China to negotiate.
Why? Because we solved, unfortunately, our oil reserves too early to the Chinese, and now we have to recover. Well,
[00:23:11] Jeremi: so in your analysis then, uh, what we’re confronted with are a series of problems of governance, which in some ways are classic political science problems, problems with a long history. And we have almost just a cyclical action and reaction occurring in our societies.
How do we break out of that?
[00:23:30] Andrés: I think the breaking out of that has to do with the economy. I believe that whoever government in the region. Managers to find a way to improve the economic situation of the people to get rid of the inequality, to give young people a chance to thrive, to give young people the chance for job, not only a job, flipping burgers, but a promising job saying you’re going to flip burgers for a year, but then.
Things that are going to change for you. You’re going to become, I don’t know, store manager or whatever, that is, what will bring a change. And, and, and I’m not much of an economist because I’m a political scientist, but I have seen that the empty promises of many leaders. Are leading to this cycle of violence and to the cycle of disenchantment.
So for example, our government here in Ecuador is saying we are the government of togetherness, meaning in Spanish, they will be yet another Ling quainter okay. And when people meet and get together, but right now, in some areas, the government is doing. Completely the opposite. So they’re calling it the government of, of knots together, all the best thing, cuentro in Spanish.
And there’s many voices who say, yeah, well he’s doing on one or a couple of frogs. He’s doing the right thing. And I think people have to also support the government, but in other areas, people don’t see that change. People don’t see the immediate changes and we, the middle-class. Couple of weeks ago, I had to face with higher taxes because he’s the, it’s the only way for the government to, you know, manage the very delicate economic situation.
So my answer is definitely that the economy has to be managed by people who know people who re despite any economic ideologies do the right thing for the.
[00:25:41] Jeremi: Uh, of course, one of the challenges in Latin America though, Andrea’s historically has been that the technocrats who run the economy are often out of touch with the people and something.
I know you’ve written quite a bit on problems of corruption. Yes,
[00:25:55] Andrés: absolutely. And there is no development without tackling the issue of corruption. So in a country where the pizza arrives before the police. And you can actually not necessarily spend your money in hiring a lawyer where you can buy a judge.
Then you have a big problem. Then you have a very, very big problem. And I’m not taking that phrase to my own authorship. It was. I think he was a Nigerian colleague of mine who said in the African system, you don’t necessarily employee lawyers. You actually get your money together to buy, uh, judges. And the problem in Latin America is the same because corruption is one.
Biggest biggest impediments for development. There was a time here in Equateur where out of every dollar that was received in foreign aid, 60 cents, when to corruption and 40 cents only came to the right hands. So then you have the problem of how to deal with that, because I always say in my case, Corruption is like terrorism is like stupidity, those three problems.
You cannot erase from the world and you cannot necessarily tackle it down properly on under one solution. So I tell my students, why don’t you do it, stupid people. And then they say, well, you have to be fine. Who is stupid. Right. And any social scientist will tell you, well, that’s a matter of perspective.
So. Corruption is the same. And then you say, all right, is there a definition for corruption? You can say the abuse of public power for private gain. That’s the most used definition, but then if you are a social scientist, then you take a look at the definition and you see it’s flawed because it’s not always the abuse of probably power.
It’s also the abuse of private power. And then. You get into these discussions and every government, at least here in Ecuador and in other countries as well in the region have promised every time they say we will take down the issue of corruption, we will take those down who accept brides. We accept, uh, we will.
Take measures structural measures to tackle it down, but it’s a very difficult problem to tackle down because of the different, the different ramifications. And has maybe was back in the 1970s where there’s a whole bunch of literature of economists, especially who say what’s the problem with corruption, everything runs, you know, and, and it’s the grease, uh, that oil’s the machine, right?
And the problem is that it’s not right. So there’s a whole generation of political scientists who claim. No, that’s not. Okay. But then. The issue of corruption as, uh, as, um, as a impediment for development is what’s has the, the, the region and all of the countries. And I think all of the countries in the region have same, the same challenges when it comes to corruption and take a look at the corruption, perceptions index from transparency, internationals, you’ll see all the Latin American countries in the, in the, in the lesser good ha.
Because of the mismanagement of government.
[00:29:37] Jeremi: Do you think that young activists today understand this problem and have the, is there a chance that they will be less susceptible to corruption?
[00:29:47] Andrés: I think it’s a matter of information. I think if people, if young people were to engage in dialogues and real dialogues about the issues of countries, You would create, you would educate, you will generate a very solid group of people, a new generation that will see these things clear.
But if someone rather reads about what happened during the super bowl in the halftime show than reading, why is the president, you know, being accused of X, Y, and X country? Then we do have a problem. And I like, for example, stars and famous people. Uh, motivate young people to engage in causes. And I think one of the recent examples has been Leonardo DiCaprio with this whole environmentalism thing.
And claiming that the Galapagos is, uh, is, is something that we should take care about and people follow that. So I think the problem of young people is that they don’t get informed that they don’t have the spaces to talk about these things, because then we have a bigger problem. The schools, the high schools don’t allow.
The space had because they lack the time and the resources. They rather teach, uh, chemistry. They rather teach math, which are fundamental. Of course. But we used to have a space in our curriculum where you used to talk about national issues and even global issues and not all the schools have that anymore.
So what I think is young people need the spaces to speak, to give their thoughts. That’s one of the reasons I actually, what we created political to give those students the tools to debate, to understand. And even to read the paper, I have a student who sends me, um, you would expect students to send you questions.
He sends me articles from the newspaper in Germany that he finds injury. And that’s for me, that’s a, that’s a win because he reads the newspaper in German and says, oh, I find this one. Interesting. I find this one. Interesting. What do you think about this one? And that is what we need to generate. If we’re going to have a true activism, then it has to be informed.
It has to be based on the interest of young.
[00:32:14] Jeremi: That’s so well said, and I think it’s universal. Uh, Zachary, what do you think, I mean, is, is this vision of a more informed public sphere that, uh, Andres is, is articulating and he’s drawing on a large political science. Of course on this as an informed public sphere, something you see developing among young people.
And do you see it having the kinds of international dimensions that Andres is talking about with, I know you also read German, Zachary and reading other languages and seeing the news, the news from other points of view, what are your thoughts on.
[00:32:48] Zachary: Well, I, I do think that it’s becoming much more international.
And I think that, that we are seeing a renewed interest in, in, in pragmatic local issues and, and, and problem solving that has real local impacts, but it’s done in a global intellectual community. And I think. That’s really been crystallized, uh, by, by COVID because in, in a world of pandemic, you can’t simply look to the solutions at home.
You have to look abroad as well, but you also have to come up with solutions and policies that, that actually solve the problems and keep people out of the hospitals and, and keep people fed. And I think. As much as COVID has as has brought suffering to so many, it’s also opened the door for these kinds of opportunities.
And these kinds of have dialogues about these
[00:33:36] Jeremi: issues. I, I think that’s a very informed and optimistic point of view, Andres. Yeah. I was going to ask you to react to that.
[00:33:45] Andrés: Uh, my reaction to that is actually a story that happened a month ago in our class political four universities that I teach for German students.
I teach from the middle of the world and they are all in Europe. And we may one exercise in the Zachary. Exactly what you will find this interesting. I told them, find out the news about the crisis in Ukraine. Okay, very easy task. But I said to them from a local newspaper, one of the students was in Turkey.
The other one was in Italy. The other one was in the Netherlands. Only one was in Germany. The other one was in Spain. They went to the local news and we saw five different versions of the Ukraine conflict. It was amazing. It was incredible. Well, they did over zoom and my exercise. At scene COVID has vanished.
The borders of information has ban or has yeah. Vantage once again, the borders of how we can reach people. I teach a class with people that are in five different countries and I don’t even have to leave. My desk. And that’s something that did not happen before the pandemic. And the sad thing about it is that we did have the technology for that.
We just didn’t use it. Right. So if you wanted to have an international class, you would actually have to host them in some place and now you don’t have to do it. So we took a look at five different versions. Of the Ukraine conflict and it was incredible. So I believe that some of the things that you said are evolving and we should not stop carrying out the message internationally.
We should not see COVID as this pandemic that only brought bad things, I believe. And I think, um, Jeremy, when we opened the model UN, uh, two weeks ago, You saw people from different places, you saw kids who stood up until, or where up until midnight in Europe. Right. And I think the pandemic has given us the virtuality that for many people is a burden.
I understand, but for some that are becoming not the few, but the many, it’s a tool of increasing. It’s a tool of saying, Hey, I can teach you. Of course, where are you? I am in, I don’t know, Mongolia. And do you have internet? Yes. Okay. Then I can teach it. Of course my limitation is when they don’t have internet.
Yes, absolutely. That is a great point. But now I see a lot of people’s like, I don’t know, in, in your age, uh, if people are like that, but my teenagers. Whenever they come to a, I don’t know, I don’t know, reunion or a house. They don’t ask where the bathroom. They ask you for the wifi
crazy. You know, it back in the day where Jeremy and I used to go to reunions or parties, you used to say, you know, can you tell me where the bathroom is? Or can, can I help you with something that the kids are very specific? And they say, I need password. Cause you know, I need to be connected. And I think the idea of, of, of COVID being, um, uh, You know, a 0.0, uh, on mankind.
So to speak in terms of, we all started to, we all needed to start from scratch is a valid point, but it’s a valid point for inclusion. And I want to finish this, this part of the inclusion, not only the kids that are far away, but also kids that might be next door, but half some issues. Being in front of an audience being in front of their peers.
I’ve had a lot of students that political who suffered from bullying, for example, and who did not, you know, we’re not able to talk about politics because they said, oh, there goes the nerd again, but now they’re in their home in a safe place. You know, and they don’t have any, any censorship whatsoever by teachers or peers or whatever they’re there.
And they’re saying. And that’s the beauty of the very chocolatey. And when it comes to teaching politics, I think it’s very amazing that I can teach a class to wherever one sets in the world. And I don’t have to leave my desk. Yeah.
[00:38:19] Jeremi: Yes, I think you’ve given us a tour de force and a visionary description on dress of how the challenges of our world also open up certain opportunities for young activists, uh, not just reacting to the challenges of their moment, but also articulating and building connections that didn’t.
Before, and I love your vision of a transnational dialogue among young people, uh, really articulating alternatives to the moment that we, that we live in today. I hope all of our listeners, I know all of our listeners will take some inspiration from. And the very fact that we could have you on this podcast from Ecuador describing your experiences on multiple continents from your desk.
It’s so empowering. It was unthinkable Andrea’s for you and I to do this even a decade ago. And, and there’s such possibility in that. So I thank you for your optimism, your international point of view and your commitment. I think to what’s what’s most important for a vibrant, uh, public sphere. It’s it’s
[00:39:24] Andrés: and I believe.
You know, if you’re going to use vitality to educate. It’s after the teachers and educators to make it work. I think, I think, yes, of course the problems of not being alive. But as you said, how would we have had met, uh, if not through these virtuality and now, you know, if we stay in touch, things are going to be easier for you to join.
For example, one of our classes are for me to come back to the podcast or to your classroom without the burden of traveling, which makes it. More environmentally friendly. And that’s also something that I saw in the young people that I interviewed. I said, why do you want to do this? And they say, I don’t have to use fuel to do anything to move around.
That is the future. I think that is the.
[00:40:15] Jeremi: I think you’re absolutely right. And, and it has been a real pleasure to speak with you. I know we will remain friends and collaborators and I look forward to continuing to learn from you and to see your impact on the ground and Ecuador and elsewhere. Thank you again on dress.
[00:40:32] Andrés: Thank you to both to Jeremy and to Zach for this wonderful idea. I didn’t know about the poem and I, the very first thing that came to my mind was U2’s uh, song Sunday, bloody Sunday, and you know, a protest song. And I thought of the poem as a, as the beginning of the podcast is a great idea as a tip it up and, uh, we’ll see, or we’ll hear each other in the next
[00:41:01] Jeremi: episode.
That is correct. Zachary. Thank you. and, did you have U2’s, um, Sunday, bloody Sunday and mind,
[00:41:08] Zachary: unfortunately not, but it’s certainly one of my favorites.
[00:41:10] Jeremi: There we go. Thank you, Zachary for your poem, and thank you. Most of all, to our loyal listeners for joining us for this episode of this is
[00:41:21] Andrés: democracy.
This podcast is produced by the liberal arts, its development studio and the college of liberal arts at the university of Texas at Austin. The music in this episode was written and recorded by Harris Codini stay tuned for a new episode every week. You can find this is democracy on apple podcasts, Spotify, and Stitcher.
See you next time.