Frank Kronenberg: The Politics of Being Human

Activist, author and occupational therapist Frank Kronenberg from South Africa will open his UW-Madison talk by engaging the audience around the core question of “How are we doing together—as humanity and as health professionals.” He asks: “If caring deeply about humanity is to be the shared heartbeat of all health professionals, can we then afford to not position ourselves, our discourses and practices politically, historically and critically?

A panel of UW-Madison scholars will respond to Kronenberg’s talk, and an audience discussion will follow.

A native of the Netherlands, Kronenberg is a co-founder of the movement Occupational Therapists Without Borders. He is also director of Shades of Black Works in Cape Town, South Africa. He has worked as an occupational therapist, projects leader in countries around the world, which include Israel/Palestine, India, Pakistan, United States, Mexico and Guatemala.

He will explore how health professionals can make themselves available in new ways to promote health and well-being in organizations, communities and societies. He explores core concepts of human occupation and health and their interrelationships through Aristotle’s notion of Phronesis, or practical knowledge, and the African philosophy of Ubuntu, or critical humanism.

Kronenberg will draw on his experience and knowledge learned from people at the peripheries of global societies. He will share practice examples from the Cape Town organization Grandmothers Against Poverty and AIDS and Kanthari, a leadership program in Kerala, India, for visionaries who have overcome adversity.

Frank Kroneneberg poster-2