Afrikaans dictionaries translate padkos as ‘provisions’ in English. It is made up of two separate Afrikaans words: pad, meaning road; and kos, meaning food. So it describes food for the journey.
Church Land Programme’s padkos initiative began in 2010 as an email-list to provide and share some resources for our journey. In the beginning, those resources were limited to written pieces that come from, or con- nect with, the thinking and reflection that is part of our praxis. Over time, padkos has expanded into a vibrant and varied pro- gramme. But the core aims have remained the same, and we’ve always tried to ensure that the padkos we share is seasonal, locally-grounded, and nutritious.
CLP has often spoken of its work as a journey, and we are inspired by Paulo Freire’s phrase that “we make the path by walking”. The journey of our work is deeply rewarding, and our main guide and inspiration remains the rebellious struggles of the people. But it is also a long and demanding journey. As we continue together, we all need padkos – sustenance and food-for-thought along the way. CLP makes this padkos available because emancipatory action is always thought; because reflection strengthens struggle; and also because we have been asked to! This initiative is one aspect of our response to requests from friends & members, colleagues & com- rades to be ‘fed’: to hear from and learn with CLP about its think- ing and work.
Padkos began as a low-traffic email distribution list for people directly connected with CLP, as well as fellow travelers interested in and supportive of CLP’s work. In the beginning, we simply shared written pieces.
In response to the interest the readings generated, we created the ‘palaver’ where we could get together to focus on a particular issue or paper, and really discuss and digest the richness and challenges. In turn, the palaver then grew into a remarkable pro- gramme of padkos events that draws in friends and guests, from across the country and around the world, sharing their work and thinking in interactive discussions at our offices.
We also developed a programme showing films & documen- taries that has been really stimulating and enlightening. Watch- ing them together enables us to understand, to learn from, & to make connections with other struggles in other contexts – and also with diverse modes of emancipatory organisation and strug- gle around the globe. We called this aspect of padkos, the ‘bioscope’.
Another dimension of the evolving padkos menu incorporated culture as a rich and nourishing part of our ‘food for the journey’. Padkos ‘intermission’ has included creative events featuring, for instance, poetry & art, food & drink – and lots of live music.