Seeing the World More Clearly
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Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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Chimamanda Adichie: The danger of a single story

"Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice -- and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding."


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

What she says here is true, we only have one story about Africa that forms our perception of all of the countries of Africa. What we think of peoples and of foreign countries affects how we interact with them. In the case of our story of Africa, we do not think of people just like us, we think of tribes and poverty because that is all we see and all we read. Therefore, the very real problems of Africa are thought of as not as important or too different to care. However, they are people just like us in that everyone leads a different life and their stories are not static, they are changing. So our one viewpoint of a people sways our entire view of that people. This does not only happen with the peoples of African countries, but with people all around the world. Our understanding of different cultures and societies can help us interact with them and work with them to work toward a better future.

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Hector Alonzo's curator insight, December 15, 2014 3:30 PM

This video is very interesting, in that Chimamanda Adichie tells the dangers of hearing a one sided story. It is easy to classify a country with the rest, but it is also inaccurate because they are not the same. This video reminds me of another titled "Media and Culture-- Perspective and Bias" which also takes on the idea of knowing only one side of a story or people. It is videos and people like Adichie and Reza Aslan (from the above mentioned video) that implore us to research and make ourselves knowledgable about a subject, culture, or people before making assumptions and making the mistake of grouping them together for the sake of an easy story.

Matthew Richmond's curator insight, November 4, 2015 7:39 PM

Re-scooped from Professor Dixon. This is an eye opening narrative on what it's like to be African. This video really made me question my own cultural biases and microagressions. Powerful piece.

Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 2:50 PM

this is a big problem in the world today in my mind. other places do not have the nationalism that is required to thrive. even this woman (who eventually became an exception) started off idolizing western countries. this is not inherently a problem but places do not try to make themselves better, the reason there is the perception of africa that there is, is because people like this woman are the exception. if more people followed her lead than the whole of Africa would not be seen this way.

Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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Roots of the Mali Crisis

January 19, 2013—The West African nation of Mali is making headlines after a wave of French military actions on Islamic extremist groups now controlling the northern part of the country. National Geographic Senior Writer Peter Gwin has...

Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

   This video clip that is great for learning not only about the situation in Mali, but how history leads to the events of today and how much one country can affect another country.

   When Europe colonized  Africa they created borders that separated groups of people that should have stayed together, and they put different ethnic groups together that should have been separated. With this alone comes great conflict because ethnic groups and neighboring tribes that have had conflicts for years now have to operate under the same government somehow and no one is ever really happy so conflicts arise.

    Also, the Arab Spring broke out which brought on all these new ideas and opportunities for the people to revolt and change their country, and some of the people left Libya after the fall of Gadaffi and went to Mali bringing their weapons and anger with them. All of these events led to the Mali crisis today, and it is interesting to see how much one country affects another country and as a history major I am greatly interested in how the history of the country brings about the events of today.

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, February 1, 2013 10:17 AM

This 6-minute video clip is a good way to help students understand the ethnic and geopolitical context of the Mali conflict.  What impact did the superimposed borders of colonialism have in creating the conflict? 


Tags: Mali, Africa, borders, political, conflict, war, colonialism, National Geographic.

Araceli Vilarrasa Cunillé's curator insight, February 6, 2013 6:37 AM

La crisi propera no es deixa fer prou atenció als canvis geopolítics a l' Africa.

Al Picozzi's comment, July 18, 2013 12:15 PM
The borders were randomly drawn without taking culture, language, beliefs of the native populations etc into account. However drawing borders along ethnic lines didn't work in Europe after WWI. Alot of ethnic minorities were in countires that did not feel welcome. That was one reason for WWII
Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’

‘How to Build a Country From Scratch’ | Seeing the World More Clearly | Scoop.it
The filmmakers present a 12-step program to establish the world’s newest country: South Sudan.

Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

This video opened my eyes to a lot of things about building a country and about South Sudan in general.

       There are so many things that go into building a country, it is not just building the government. Countries need police forces and identities. They need national anthems, flags, taxes, they need a system of keeping their information and their history, and they need a capital city, These all take time to build and create because they start with basically nothing, they are literally building a country from scratch. Also, many countries other than South Sudan are invested in this, the UN is helping them in any way they can and therefore all of the countries of the UN are affected by and involved in this process.

    Also, this video gives a lot of insight into the culture of South Sudan and about its culture. It seems that one of their official languages is English because many people speak it in the video and they were singing the national anthem in English. The video also portrayed their Christian culture in many ways, and it illustrated the lives of its people with their way of life and their dreams and their adjustment to peace from decades of war.

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Cam E's curator insight, March 18, 2014 12:51 PM

This is a really interesting dynamic to look into, as it's not everyday the process of founding a country can be seen at work. That's a true once in a lifetime experience for those involved, and is likely one of the harder jobs in the entirety of history.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:46 AM

This video and article highlight the steps a new country takes when it is carved out of an old one.  The problems and tribulations the new country faces and how it responds to the rest of the international community will decide if it will be a long lasting country or just a blip on the road of the original countries history.

Kendra King's curator insight, March 15, 2015 6:33 PM

I think building a country from scratch mostly needs a plan for strong governance. Some of the items mentioned in the video would eventually be necessary (i.e. an anthem or a flag), but not exactly a top priority as the country could function without these. Rather the items like taxes and training the police are hugely important. A society needs the revenue to grow and the police to keep order. However, what disturbed me about this video is there were no other real mention of government institutions. Now I am not saying that the Constitution needs to be exactly like the United States, but the following is needed: a plan for how to treat the citizens, implement social programs, create/review the law, get officials into office, etc. Without looking at these basic questions of government, there is no way the country can function because there aren’t actually the procedures in place when problems do arise.

 

After strong governance, I also think that recognition in our globalized world is needed as well. In order for a country to prosper, the country will need to rely on other nations at one point in time for things like trading. If enough countries just refused to recognize the area and as such refused to trade then the country would more than likely fail. Luckily, Sudan is recognized by the United States and the UN did come to speak with the nation. SO that doesn’t seem to be an issue.

 

To me these are the top two things needed and since one is greatly missing, I am not surprised by the problems Sudan has.  

Rescooped by Emma Lafleur from Geography Education
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Botswana's 'Stunning Achievement' Against AIDS

A decade ago, Botswana was facing a national crisis as AIDS appeared on the verge of decimating the country's adult population. Now, the country provides free, life-saving AIDS drugs to almost all of its citizens who need them.

 

This is a great example, and possibly a template on how to tackle the AIDS/HIV crisis in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Botswana was as hard hit as any country, but they fully invested their economic initiatives into tackling this and actively changed cultural attitudes and behaviors that faciliate transmission.  Not all is 'doom and gloom' when looking at poverty and disease-stricken countries.   


Via Seth Dixon
Emma Lafleur's insight:

    AIDS is spreading rapidly in Africa, and sometimes it seems as though no one is really doing anything to help. Botswana shows that there is a way to help and there is a way to lessen the impact that AIDS has on people's lives through government funded treatments.

     Botswana has spent a lot of money on HIV/AIDS research and treatments for their citizens, and the spread of the disease has drastically gone down since they have started their fight against it. They have especially decreased the AIDS tranmission from mother to child, so that the children born in the country have a better chance of surviving, and are not born with a death sentence. Also, people are living longer because less people are getting the disease and the people who do get the disease have access to the treatments that allow them to live longer.

      The access of medicine not only has an impact on the health of the country, it has an impact of each an every part. Since people live longer, there are more people working and building the economy and making the country better, and the society and country are more stable because there aren't so many people dying and so much fear about contracting AIDS.

      Also, other countries can look to Botswana as an example of how they can help their people, and the spread of AIDS can decrease across the continent. However, Botswana is a richer country because it has diamond reserves while other countries are poorer and may not be able to buy the medicines for all of the people. In addition, Botswanna is in the southern part of Africa and it has not been greatly affected by the Arab Spring. The countries that have had recent revolutions also may not be able to help with AIDS because they need to create stability and build governments first. Therefore, Botswana is a great step in the right direction and is a good model for other countries to follow, but there is a long way to go before the AIDS epidemic slows down.

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James Hobson's curator insight, November 3, 2014 8:36 PM

(Africa topic 9)

This video illustrates many of the factor which have contributed to Botswana's success (as well as other nations' failures) against HIV/AIDS. Preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS is not just a "yes or no" decision.

Many people live in areas where treatment is not available. Others live where treatment is available, but it is inconsistent or improper. And yet even some of those to whom proper treatment is available choose not to receive it.

Just as has been associated with cancer, many believe (and some statistics seem to support this, even if only indirectly) one's attitude is a major influence on one's outcome. The same can be said for the outcome of all those in a region as well. In this sense, a little can go a long way.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 22, 2014 4:13 PM

Media often depicts Africa and the HIV/AIDS crisis as a hopeless, out of control issue. Despite the media, Botswana has actually almost reversed its AIDS issues with diligent work by the government. Instead of relying on foreign aid, Botswana took matters into its own hands. Knowing that its people's survival was on the line, the government put both money and resources into finding ways to stop the spread and to make the lives of those infected much better. By changing the cultural outlook on the virus, people are starting to seek help and to no longer fear those with the disease. Botswana's new challenge will be to educate its people so they do not underestimate the treatable virus and practice prevention. 

Melissa Marie Falco-Dargitz's curator insight, November 23, 2014 2:04 PM

Working with the government can help improve the lives of people. Availability of drugs across social strata helps.