Wednesday, March 25, 2015

New Book: 'The Victoria Mxenge Housing Project' by Salma Ismail

We would like to draw your attention to a new book by one of SCUTREA's members, Salma Ismail: 'The Victoria Mxenge Housing Project: Women building communities through social activism and informal learning'.
The detail of the book is as follows:

"At the beginning of South Africa’s democratic change, in 1994, the Victoria Mxenge Housing Project was founded by a group of 12 women who lived in shacks on the barren outskirts of Cape Town. These women had come from rural areas and were poor, vulnerable and semi-literate. Yet they learned how to build, negotiate with the government and NGOs, architects and building experts, and form alliances with homeless social movements locally and internationally, in India and Brazil. The desolate piece of land they occupied is now a thriving, sustainable community of more than 5,000 houses.

Over a period of 10 years the author tracked the history of the Victoria Mxenge Housing Association, from its start as a development organisation to its evolution into a social movement and then as a service provider. The text weaves together perspectives on the usefulness as well as limitations of ‘popular education’, or informal learning. It highlights the value of local and traditional knowledge, experiential learning, and learning in an informal context, and illustrates how women relate to and interact with knowledge. It taps into the growing international interest in social, or ‘citizen’ learning in the context of the growth of social movements. This book is a welcome addition to the literature for adult education students and social activists throughout the developing world."

To download further information on the book, as well as where to purchase it, please visit:  
To view a film of the book launch, go to

Note about the author:
Salma Ismail is a Senior Lecturer at the School for Education at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. She convenes and teaches on the Adult Education programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and has written several papers and book chapters on ‘popular pedagogy’.