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Hinterlands Annex

History Lessons: Popular Education in the 20th Century

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The best way to develop a programme of political education that serves our movement’s needs today is to look to our history. By examining examples of left-wing political education from Europe to Brazil, from the labour movement and beyond, we can learn how to embed education into all of our movement’s activities. What knowledge did effective movements share? How did they design popular education programmes which engaged and inspired people to act? What can we take from our history to develop popular education for the 21st century?


Colin Waugh

Colin Waugh is a co-founder of the Independent Working Class Education Network and author of Plebs: The lost legacy of independent working class education. He edits Post-16 Educator.

Rida Vaquas
Activist // The Clarion

Rida Vaquas is a former Momentum NCG member. She is an editor of the Clarion and translates German socialist texts in her free time. She is currently working on a dissertation on the German socialist youth movement during the war.

Edd Mustill

Edd Mustill is a labour history nerd and co-presenter of the Labour Days podcast. He has written a history of the Sheffield Workers’ Committee and is Vice-Chair of the Sheffield Heeley Constituency Labour Party.

Hilary Wainwright
Author // Red Pepper

Sociologist, political activist & author, fellow of the Transnational Institute and editor of Red Pepper magazine. Latest book: ‘A New Politics from the Left’, Polity Press

Igor Felipe
Landless Workers' Movement (MST)

Igor Felipe is a member of the National Council of MST, the Landless Workers’ Movement (Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sem Terra, MST), one of Latin America’s largest and most important social movements with a membership of 1.5 million. It is a leading force both in Brazil and globally fighting for the rights of the rural poor. A key member of Via Campesina, the global movement of millions of peasants and small farmers it confronts both neoliberal agenda as well as the rise of right-wing politics.