Radio — Grassroots skill-building and knowledge-sharing in Halifax


On this week’s episode of Talking Radical Radio, I speak with Marietta Wildt and Nicole Holland. They are involved in Trade School Halifax, an initiative devoted to creating opportunities for free grassroots learning, skill-building, and knowledge-sharing.

In most instances, when you hear the expression “trade school,” you probably think about a formalized educational institution at which people can learn to engage in certain kinds of skilled blue-collar labour. When it comes to Trade School Halifax, though, it means something a bit different — it’s “trade” as in swap or exchange.

Marietta Wildt and Nicole Holland are part of the core collective for Trade School Halifax. Described on their website as “a self-organized space for alternative education,” they are dedicated to creating opportunities for people in the Halifax area to share skills and knowledge with one another through workshops and community discussions. Some of these events have involved teaching practical skills for living, like seed-saving or baking pastry; some have involved practical skills of particular use in activism and organizing, like fundraising or graphic design for activism; some are more personal-political skills, like how to talk with your racist uncle about the Paris attacks, or ways of talking about and living sexuality and queerness; and some are more theoretical, like debt-driven capitalism or the politics of trauma and trigger-warnings. Inspired by a similar initiative in Vancouver, and supported by infrastructure from a Trade School in New York, it is nonetheless a very locally focused, all-volunteer, grassroots project.

Wildt and Holland talk with me about the founding of Trade School Halifax, about the politics that inform it, and about their ongoing effort to create more opportunities for more, and more diversely situated, Haligonians to share their knowledge and their skills.

To learn more about Trade School Halifax, click here.

Talking Radical Radio brings you grassroots voices from across Canada. We give you the chance to hear many different people that are facing many different struggles talk about what they do, why they do it, and how they do it, in the belief that such listening is a crucial step in strengthening all of our efforts to change the world. To learn more about the show in general, visit its website here. You can learn about suggesting topics for future shows here.

Talking Radical Radio is brought to you by Scott Neigh, a writer, media producer, and activist based in Hamilton (formerly Sudbury), Ontario, and the author of two books examining Canadian history through the stories of activists.

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