Christian Long

Chris Abani: Stories of Africa

In TED Talks on May 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm

Reflection by CHRIS A.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Chris Abani:  Stories of Africa

It took me a a couple times in watching the video to understand all of his points through his stories. Once I made sense of his stories I loved everyone of them.

I agree with his point that news and statistics aren’t anything to go by learning about a another countries culture. Love how he refers to the media as “agents of our imagination. Yes, we do imagine on our own but media sometimes supplies us with false- facts on which we imagine on. So instead of listening to the news he suggest reading the countries literature. Reading isn’t as popular as it use to be so are we losing a great resource to learn about another country? He opened my eyes to a new idea when he said “We often think language mirrors the world in which we live in but it actually makes the world in which we live in. this is really important to me because poetry makes my world. Even the people who aren’t poetic, can you imagine your life without our language?

He does a great job in making everything he talks about in life into a story, like telling stories keeps our history going. Stories prevent us from having to re-figure what we figured in the past. His story on his Pakistani-Muslim teacher teaching the students their culture through the holocaust. Its amazing how two cultures can be so different but go through the same problems and issues. In his talk he also made the point that we as people are really afraid of losing ourselves internally is more frightening through going through physical abuse.

His talk over all says that we really don’t know ourselves or even where we come from. We are all trying to figure out our communities but we don’t like not knowing so we act like we do and make profound statements about countries and communities. I do believe like Chris that all our problems is the thought that something is pure. Whatever we want to be and strive for need to be pure and it’s not. If we could all accept everyone culture, learn from everyone, and just be ourselves we would have less issues.


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