For both of us, educators, brought up in a colonial educational system and exposed, throughout most of our life, to a Eurocentric body of writings and ideas, the work of Paulo Freire has been refreshing in that it presents us with ideas rooted in postcolonial politics (Giroux, 1993) and a voice from the South (Mayo, 2004).1 His work has led us to affirm a value commitment in education, to eschew a tendency to regard education as a neutral enterprise. As a result, he calls upon us to “challenge the historical fatality imposed by the neoliberalist thinking” (Freire, 1997, p.314). His widow, Ana Maria (Nita) Araújo Freire, gave us some insight into the nature of his resolve in this regard:
Our commitment continues to be that of working to enhance social justice in our country’s educational provision, predicated on possibilities for
the empowerment of traditionally subaltern groups. In this work, Freire is a constant source of inspiration and moral support. He inspires people to remain authentically human and radically loyal and active in a socioeconomic context which “represents a profound shift of economic time and space, from the local and national into the global arena” (Carnoy, 1998, p. 9). Against such a backdrop, we continue to be driven forward in our work by the vision of hope and possibility which he has projected and communicated to us both intellectually and emotionally. Together with others, Freire has also provided us with a language and framework with which to analyze education in a postcolonial context, the country in question being our native Malta that is located in the subaltern part of the North-South axis.