One of the aims of the work we do at Foundation for Change is not only to enable people to think critically about themselves and their life experiences, but to also to be curious about the world they live in. Learning about our personal past and past events is helpful because “without learning from our history we’re doomed to repeat it”.

History reminds us that the kind of political and social upheaval we have been experiencing in the last few months is not new to human society; we have been here before. Often, history can help us understand the range of responses we see in our own time - our own, and of others’ in our community and around us. It also helps us to look critically at the responses of those who hold power…

In this podcast we explore the idea of “history from below” which takes the approach of looking at the past through the lens of ordinary common people. It reminds us that there is more than one narrative to events than that told to us by those in power. It’s especially important for our feminism work, and for understanding other forms of oppression.

Listen to the podcast link using the Spotify player above or by going to our Youtube channel

The handout accompanying this podcast can be downloaded as a PDF here or viewed as a webpage here.


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In this 9 minute video, Kim Kutz Elliot discusses some basic skills for "Thinking like a historian", which is a nice introduction to some of the ideas about critical thinking and why not only thinking about history, but thinking about who tells it, why and how, is important.

You can read an extract from an essay written in 1989 by Peter Linebough to honour the Aids Coalition To Unleash Power (ACT UP), in which he considers the effect of disease on the working classes, from the uprising in Haiti to newly formed UK and US industrial cities.

Bringing things up to date, here the author is interviewed about the current crisis brought about by the coronavirus. He reminds us how pandemics throughout history have been met both by attempts by elites to extend their domination and the people’s attempts to resist while surviving.  Here, the noted historian weighs in on plagues, from antiquity to Covid-19.

Eshe Kiama Zuri founded UK Mutual Aid, an online grassroots space on Facebook group in 2018, pre Covid-19, to support marginalised people and bring anti-oppression education into community building. It also facilitates connection and requests for support among people from black, minority ethnic, disabled, LGBTQI backgrounds. Here she talks about why it's important to remember the Black history of mutual aid groups.