teaching, learning and living around the world
Last year in Brooklyn, one of my colleagues showed me this awesome
story of Caine, a kid creating a cardboard arcade in Los Angeles.
Just this morning I stumbled across this similarly awesome
story of Eddy Waba, a kid building model houses in Kinshasa!
Lastly, one morning I walked into school and found this incredible representation of a Flemish Renaissance painter’s work. This was created by 5th Graders at my school!
Pieter Bruegel the Elder’s original painting of the Tower of Babel.
I’m not so much of a builder, but I do like creating wild hairdos.
and I love fabric, paper and making NOTEBOOKS!
My brother created this awesome satellite two way messaging device.
There are so many amazing creations out there.
One of my favorite authors, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, tells a brief story about the power of CREATING in her TED Talk, The Danger of a Single Story. Adichie says-
My father was a professor. My mother was an administrator. And so we had, as was the norm, live-in domestic help, who would often come from nearby rural villages. So the year I turned eight we got a new house boy. His name was Fide.
The only thing my mother told us about him was that his family was very poor. My mother sent yams and rice, and our old clothes, to his family. And when I didn’t finish my dinner my mother would say, “Finish your food! Don’t you know? People like Fide’s family have nothing.” So I felt enormous pity for Fide’s family.
Then one Saturday we went to his village to visit, and his mother showed us a beautifully patterned basket made of dyed raffia that his brother had made. I was startled. It had not occurred to me that anybody in his family could actually… make something. All I had heard about them was how poor they were, so that it had become impossible for me to see them as anything else but poor. Their poverty was my single story of them.
The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story. The consequence of the single story is this: It robs people of dignity. It makes our recognition of our equal humanity difficult. It emphasizes how we are different rather than how we are similar.
I think this speaks volumes about the often sudden and strong respect that emerges between humans, when we prove that we can create… why I feel so moved to see the creation stories of Caine and Eddy Waba. Why I’m alway so impressed to come home and see the creations of my family members.The power to create is something awesome and honestly, kind of magical.
It makes the recognition of our equal humanity…