At a moment such as this in history, when people declare the impotence of action and the futility of values so insistently and with such certainty, when ideological discourse decrees freedom from ideology, the death of dreams, and of utopia, and when people justify adaptation to the world as it is, as opposed to the rebellious struggle to change it (through which we affirm ourselves and become creatures capable of decisiveness and rupture), it is appropriate and even necessary to celebrate the appearance of a book such as Voices of Change. The authors recognize the potential of women and men to know, to value, to establish limits, to choose, to imagine, to feel, to create, to decide, to formulate an action and direct it toward a goal, to refine and evaluate that action in order to humanize the world, reshaping or re-creating it. They recognize in the participatory research that they promote a politico-pedagogic instrument for moving women and men to such transformative action. The authors know very well that the silence and paralyzing fatalism in which millions of Marias and Pedros, Susans and Joes, and Fatimas and Mohammeds of the world find themselves as individuals and as social classes is not their fate or given destiny. Precisely because it is not destiny to wait for better days as they do--simply waiting expectantly, instead of expectantly struggling for better days--they can have hope and not the hopelessness of accommodation that fruitless waiting brings.
The authors of this book also know that participatory research is no enchanted magic wand that can be waved over the culture of silence, suddenly restoring the desperately needed voice that has been forbidden to rise and to be heard. They know very well that the silence is not a genetically or ontologically determined condition of these women and men but the expression of perverted social, economic, and political structures, which can