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What is North Star Study Group?

North Star Study Group is a creative learning project for adults based in Plymouth (UK), investigating the historical and present-day contexts and impacts of colonialism & colonial activity.

Colonialism, huh? What’s that?

Here are some definitions that might help…

The Collins English Dictionary defines colonialism as:

“the practice by which a powerful country directly controls less powerful countries and uses their resources to increase its own power and wealth.”

OED defines colonialism as:

“the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.”

Adding to those definitions, Wikipedia defines colonialism as:

“the policy of a foreign polity seeking to extend or retain its authority over other people or territories, generally with the aim of developing or exploiting them to the benefit of the colonizing country and of helping the colonies modernize in terms defined by the colonizers, especially in economics, religion, and health.”

Sounds pretty heavy… Why would I want to learn about that?

Understanding colonialism & colonial activity can help all of us better understand lots of things that are going on in the world today. 

Whether it’s to do with trying to understand the ways in which different groups of people relate to each other, the inequalities that persist in terms of wealth, race & class, or just better understanding pop culture, social movements and activism, we all have a lot to learn about the historical and present-day contexts and impacts of colonialism.

People who want to get involved with North Star Study Group aren’t “experts” or history scholars – they are curious people, who each bring their own lived experiences and expertise to the project. Each of us can help each other to learn more – by sharing information, talking through ideas and developing new (and creative) ways to explore together.

North Star Study Group is open to anyone who agrees with the project’s aims, which are to:

  • promote, sustain and increase knowledge & understanding of the historical and present-day contexts and impacts of colonialism & colonial activity
  • develop informal, creative and engaging educational strategies & activities for adult learning in self-directed, peer-to-peer and community contexts
  • support an inclusive process of ‘unlearning’ – of questioning, exploring, information gathering, discussion, discovery & sharing of findings
  • gather, produce and share learning resources that promote a deeper understanding of the topics investigated by the North Star Study Group
  • support people to develop their own capabilities, competencies, skills and understanding of the topics investigated by the North Star Study Group

Would you like to be involved?

You can register your interest in being part of North Star Study Group, or in supporting the project in other ways by filling in a short online form – follow the link below to the form…

North Star Study Group sounds great – sign me up!!

I’ve still got questions…

Here’s a few FAQs – please do get in touch if you have other questions…