09.11.2012 - UNESCO Office in Brasilia

Culture of Peace Committee discusses “the danger of a single story”

The 101st Forum of the Culture of Peace Committee will take place on 13 November at the Art Museum of São Paulo (MASP) to celebrate the National Black Awareness Day and the International Decade for People of African Descent. The “danger of a single story” will be the theme of the Forum to be discussed by speakers José Adão de Oliveira and Nanci Oliveira, Oswaldo Faustino and Wagner Celestino, and mediated by Lourdes Alves de Souza. Admission is free.

The Forum was inspired by a speech delivered by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie in which she coined the term “single story” and discussed how stereotypes and reductionist views build distorted cultural perspectives and identities that impoverish the dignity of individuals, peoples and traditions. The speech is available on Youtube and has reached millions of viewers and generated thousands of comments and debates.

The International Black Awareness Day will be celebrated on 20 November in the light of this telling reflection, as a national level achievement against racial discrimination by the Unified Black Movement. The date is the anniversary of the death of Zumbi dos Palmares, a black hero of the Americas and a reference for freedom movements in Brazil.

The purpose of this meeting is to expand the perception of the consequences of “readymade” information, common sense and generalizations that reproduce the “single story” and make use of knowledge and cultural dynamics they do not understand or know properly but have the pretense of analyzing.  

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