Cuban 'Yes I Can!' literacy campaign

Ian Ellis-Jones reports on how the link between Cuba’s world famous adult literacy campaign and First Nations literacy campaigns in Australia were revealed during a screening of the documentary Maestra in Sydney.

More than 80 people packed into a lecture theatre at Sydney University on March 31 for a public forum entitled: "Increasing Aboriginal literacy: The Cuban 'Yes I Can!' literacy campaign in Australia". The forum was organised by the Australia-Cuba Friendship Society (ACFS). Publicity from the ACFS asked: "Why has a Cuba-inspired campaign achieved outstanding success where government schooling and adult courses have largely failed?

Narrated by Alice Walker, Maestra (Spanish for teacher) explores the experiences of nine women who, as young girls, helped eradicate Cuban illiteracy in the 1961 literacy campaign within one year. 

Fifty years later, the brigadistas reminisce about the independence and self-confidence they gained from the great adventure and the trust the country placed in them. Film by Catherine Murphy. 2013. 32 min.

Chaired by Ian Ellis-Jones, (Green Left journalist and commentator on Cuba)

Speakers:

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