This is the second editorial article of our magazine. It was originally published in our 2nd printed edition at Universidad de los Andes, Bogota Colombia, during the 4th Critical Edge Alliance Conference in June 2018. We have decided to make it available to all our readers by publishing it here now.
We are excited to write to you again! In the past one and a half years, our magazine has experienced changes, grown and spreaded: We have formed our editorial board and an organizational structure with more colleagues; We reflected on our ideals and developed our visions; We changed our name to Critical Edges to better represent our ideals; Student and faculty from various universities have joined us; Earlier this year we recreated our website to render a clearer and comprehensive information structure.
Our motivation is a deep wish to search for something truthful, relevant, and meaningful to the betterment of today’s society, especially in the realm of education, by dedicating ourselves to this publication endeavor. With a global community of critical students who share passions and ideals to change our society, we have the potential to discover something new and important, to promote critical knowledge sharing and collaborative learning.
Global student network for critical education
We believe that education is a right to all for a good life. In addition, a meaningful education is a foundational to prepare for sustainable, tolerant, and harmonious societies. However, education remains unreachable for many groups of people, while some others are privileged to experience free and quality education. With privilege follows a responsibility, the responsibility to end the state of privilege and bring education into something positive everybody can access.
Various education realities in different countries are born out of their unique social, political, and economic contexts, as well as from the globalized network that influences us all.
As critical students internationally, our role in education is of global action and responsibility. We ought to take action both to advance the current unacceptable status into a more meaningful state, and to abolish the education gaps by getting involved as active world citizens.
To stand up for our citizenship and sense of agency, we must strive to initiate opportunities and engage more students to collaborate and communicate beyond our national borders, fostering freedom in education that is important for a critical community of changemakers to grow.
Possibilities Across Borders
Our curiosity for the unknown and possibilities drives us to explore, experience beyond, and understand. We know that reflections on local and international issues can be limited when one only takes into account their known perspectives without reaching further to the realms of knowledge not yet been explored. This means we need to be more reflective and critical towards our used ways of thinking and understanding of things at immediate glance. We have to go to the strange, the new, the alien—only there can we discover real alternatives to the answers given by our societies’ prevalent ideologies.
We wish to connect what has not yet been connected. Together we can cultivate new networks of creative, innovative, and critical world citizens who have found their breeding grounds in the inspirational universities that have allowed us to evolve. The flow of cross-border exchanges will unleash rich and diverse ideas and practices, which will help us critically and broadly reflect on the circumstances presented and will help us better understand the increasingly complex world.
The Future Is Now
We live our lives to build a better future. The term, future oriented for us doesn’t mean uncritical submission to the harsh realities of the future, or to turn ourselves into robust, resilient, and competent working machines. While often we are expected to be goal-oriented and strategic with our education, so that we could position ourselves with unique advantages for the job market. Many of us have felt pressure from these dominating ideologies. We torture ourselves psychologically and try cope with the growing call for competitiveness. Such premise for the future needs to be questioned. What is the future that we want to be a part of, if not a merciless, inhumane, one dimensional, or unsustainable one?
We call for a new future and invite you all to follow us in our search and determination!
The future is coming to us every second from the present now. The future is now and we shape it with our actions. This calls for us to be impatient—to run when we would be lazy, to think when we would consume, to believe and initiate when we would be indifferent. But just as much as it is impatient in this regard, it also calls for patience—to be patient with our thinking, our socially-relevant studies and meaningful development, to be patient with our fellow comrades and strangers, to be patient with those in need of help, to be patient with the discursive process for change to happen.
There is a long road to walk for us to reach that future. For even though we said the future is now, it is only now in so far as we can see the future in the present, and see the utopia within the present dystopia. No matter how hopeless it is, we have to see the possibility in us, in each other and in nature itself. The possible future can be here, if we dare to shape it.
Today we can dream, have ideas, and put ourselves up to those ideals. Today can be the day we take control of our own lives, think and take steps to move closer to our goals. Today, we can make changes happen, and stop the reproduction of inequality, corruption and mediocrity.
We selected “The future is now” as the theme for 2018 edition. In this edition, you can find essays, poems, opinions pieces, articles, and reflections contributed by students and faculty worldwide. Enjoy reading a diverse range of writings, and join us to you to reflect with us upon the actions and thoughts which are moving us today and shaping our collective future in the future.
We have been much inspired by our contributors who desire positive changes in the world. We all want to be part of it—grow our minds, change our behaviours, take informed decisions, and eventually construct our society the best way possible.
To all we say, we can fight, we can build a more equal world, and we don’t need to hesitate to start. The future is now, and the future is ours.
With sincere respects and hopes,
Adriana, Adrian, Jaganth, Lisa, Shreya, Thea
Critical Edges is an international magazine made by and for critical students around the world. Our hope is for many different students to have a platform to share their experiences, and for other students to learn about the problems that the students around the world are either working with in their academic lives, or experiencing in their daily lives. Through this, we want to promote mutual understandings, dialogues, and collaborations among our global student community who actively work for the betterment of our societies and education systems.