Friday, May 20, 2011

The danger of a single story - Chimamanda Adichie

I was cheering all the way through this. I love the way Chimamanda points out her views, with sly jibes but not an ounce of anger at the assumptions people make about others' cultures. I love her attitude at the end - that if someone makes an assumption, it's not necessarily their fault, but more that they haven't had the chance to access multiple stories. And I love the way she humbly admits that she too often makes assumptions because she buys into only one story. I think it's important to remind myself of that, despite - or perhaps especially because - I spend so much time trying to create alternate narratives. (I laughed and cried a little inside when she talked about the literary professor who rejected her story because it wasn't "authentically African".)

To bring this back to a NZ perspective, I'm going to link to another video. The South Auckland Poets Collective is run by youth for youth - and principal to their goals is to reverse the negative stories and images about their hood that have been ruling the media for years. This is just one of many videos on their website:

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