Ashley Visagie (Bottomup)

Ashley works to promote critical (anchored in critical social theories) awareness and action among high school students. He has completed an MA: Strategic Foresight (Regent) and an M.Ed (Policy, Leadership & Change) at UCT focusing on the transmission of symbolic violence in an urban township school and is presently pursuing further studies (PhD in education) at UCT. In 2007 he co-founded the organisation Bottomup, an organisation that uses critical youth participatory action research (YPAR) as a method for promoting school change. Ashley has a deep concern for youth in South Africa who suffer because of the inequitable and unjust system of education, and seeks to contest deficit narratives that require students to accept individual and total responsibility for failures that are socially produced. He is optimistic that a more fair and just world is possible but also believes that the kind of systemic changes required, call for engagements that are not trivial or easily accomplished.

Ashley feels strongly that more work needs to be in partnership with children and youth to encourage ethical and critical engagement with society. Ashley suggests that, in the past, such engagements might have been encouraged by radical educators who encouraged this inside the school classroom, today however, neoliberal reforms and a culture of performativity significantly constrain these possibilities.

Ashley is a partner on the Phase 2 Large Grant South Africa project ‘Imagining Otherwise: Transforming Spaces through Arts Education.’


Resource Archive

Search or browse the resource archive for films, reports, toolkits and other resources produced by the Changing the Story and its commissioned projects. Items written by Ashley Visagie are listed below:

TitleSummaryAuthorCategoriesTagsdoc_categories_hfilterdoc_tags_hfilter
Change from the BottomUp: How participation & creative methods are needed to challenge school context in South AfricaBlog (2020/04/20) Change from the BottomUp: How participation & creative methods are needed to challenge school context in South AfricaAshley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, , , , phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-participatory-arts subject-reflections
Permanent crisis of visibility: Young working-class CapetoniansEngage Journal 45: Class and Inequality explores issues of class, socio-economic disadvantage and inequality in relation to gallery education and engagement programmes and the related sector. Read Permanent crisis of …Ashley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, Helene Rousseau, , , , phase2 south-africa locationarticle language-english sdg-10-inequalities sdg-4-education
Getting a picture of the Cape Flats and the ImaginingOtherwise Youth Arts FestivalBlog (2020/04/08) Getting a picture of the Cape Flats and the ImaginingOtherwise Youth Arts FestivalAlexandra Sutherland, Ashley Visagie, Dr Aylwyn Walsh, , , , , event phase2 south-africa locationblog language-english subject-covid19 subject-reflections
Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) ‘Illuminating the Power of Idealism’ conference in Minnesota (US)Blog (2022/08/11) Comparative and International Education Society (CIES) ‘Illuminating the Power of Idealism’ conference in Minnesota (US)Ashley Visagie, eventblog language-english

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