We say goodby to our friend, colleague, sister Phoebe Faviana Hirsch Dubin

This past March we said goodbye to Faviana, who was a dear sister, colleague and friend of ours for 30 years. Ana Inés met Faviana in 1991 and it was then that their relationship began, through Faviana’s work in bilingual and bicultural public elementary schools in Santa Barbara, California. Over the years, Faviana was part of several projects carried out together with Ana Inés and other colleagues in the United States, linked to the struggle for the recognition of linguistic, cultural, ethnic and educational diversity.  The struggle still continues. We must not forget.

Later on, our Institute carried out several projects with her, among which we highlight the production of educational materials for the Mayan people of southern Mexico, focused on the knowledge of Mayan Mathematics that Faviana sought to identify, understand and disseminate with great passion and respect. These materials were produced in several languages: Tsotsil, Spanish and English.

Faviana had recently participated with us by offering her knowledge to UNSAM students who, through the Seminar Learning from and in Self-management and Educational Co-management, taught by Ana Inés at this public University, had the possibility of co-organising a series of talks in which, in addition to Faviana, other researchers participated. They are equally committed to a transformation towards more just ways of living, such as Anny Ocoró Loango, and Raúl Zibechi.

Faviana’s fundamental contributions throughout her life include her tireless interest in putting the tools of communication at the service of political transformation, such as her patiently sustained development of her programme on Latin America for English-speaking audiences in the United States; her sustained work with the educational communities of Chiapas, in the Caracoles, to learn with them about their mathematical knowledge and communicate it to the rest of the world as fully legitimate knowledge; her permanent position that public education in primary and middle schools can (and must) incorporate knowledge from different communities and it is only a matter of teachers finding ways to explain and share it; her passion for the integration of the arts, intellectual life and affective life in all the educational projects she undertook.

Faviana will always remain with us because her teachings endure and her energy has built bridges that are now indestructible between very diverse people and communities. 

If you would like to see an example of the work conducted together with Faviana, you may access: A Three Part Series of Mayan Ethnomathematics Booklets

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