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ERIC Number: EJ949212
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 23
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 38
ISSN: ISSN-0950-0782
"I Don't Find Any Privacy around Here": Ethnographic Encounters with Local Practices of Literacy in the State Prison of Oaxaca
Clemente, Angeles; Higgins, Michael James; Sughrua, William Michael
Language and Education, v25 n6 p491-513 2011
In his poem entitled "Privacy", Alberto, an inmate in the state prison of Oaxaca, Mexico, vividly evokes the conflictive dynamics of space and time within his living quarters. This is his way of dealing with the sadness, trauma, and mundanity of his incarceration. Alberto's poem has emerged from our ongoing ethnographic project based on a creative writing workshop that we have been carrying out at the Ixcotel state prison in Oaxaca. Our objective is to analyze the inmate-students' texts, as well as to reflect on the overall experience of the workshop, in order to interrogate the manner in which the inmate-students affectively deal with their imprisonment. Our discovery is that the workshop enables the inmate-students to maneuver within local practices of literacy as well as imagined communities in order to cross postcolonial borderlines and challenge the geopolitics of language knowledge. In doing so, the creative writing workshop serves a "liberating" function, allowing the inmate-students to "write" their way through "colonial difference" and thereby locate themselves momentarily beyond the walls of their confinement. This discovery emerges from a co-constructed and performative ethnography based on an interpretative framework leading to borderland epistemology. (Contains 3 figures and 1 note.)
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Mexico (Oaxaca)