Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Chimamanda Adichie: The Danger of A Single Story

Perspective is something all of us think we understand for we talk about looking from different perspectives everyday. Right up till about 7th grade though there is still a voice inside each of our heads incessantly squawking "ME!ME!ME!ME!ME!". Where is the perspective in that? Thus, in english we have been learning about "true perspective" and recently watched a video by prominent Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie. 

Through powerful, backlashing and sometimes humorous sentences, she explains just why it is so dangerous to have a mindset solely formed upon one story. She explains the vulnerability that we as children face when we were first exposed to stories. She also explains the enormous powers that stories can carry. All throughout her talk though, she constantly re-emphasizes a single point. How just knowing one story about anything is dangerous. 

As requested, here my final three points from her talk. 

1. We as human beings digest and accept facts at face-value far too easily. We fail to withstand the power of stories which only bring us the negative. Which only bring us what we know as "stereotypes". To break through this hurdle of letting our guard down to the information delivered into a single story, we need to explore not only the dark, but the light side of every story. 

2. Power is a gift given to those who can through voice, alter stories. Who can show that stereotypes are incomplete. It is also a gift if wrongly used, can make people see the world all in just one shade. If there is black and white, they will see either black, or white. 

3. Stories can empower. They can also dispossess. As writers, we should all look to empower, and not use our bias viewpoints to only give a single story to others. 

This talk shows us just how important perspective can be. It teaches us to ignore that incessant voice, and listen to the thousand others waiting to be heard. 

1 comment:

  1. Well done. Love the insightful and critical look at her talk.