Introducing myself and my journal: Avoiding the Danger of a Single Story

Posted August 23, 2011 from Australia

About Me: I am a big advocate of avoiding the danger of a single story. The danger that is created when we tell the same story about a person or a place over and over in the same framework – this retelling of the story in the same framework creates a single story and often the only story we come to know. It creates the one image we have of a person or a place and becomes the image we base all assumptions and opinions from. This is no more true than the image of brutality we have come to know of Rwanda – crafted out of the re-telling of the genocide and not much more than the genocide by media, journalists, Hollywood and human rights experts. However, when I arrived in Rwanda, December 2008, I was disappointed - not because it was not what I imagined, I was more than happy that the safe, calm ease of life I was exposed to in Rwanda dispelled that imagine of brutality that I had - but I was disappointed because the image, the single story of Rwanda, that had been created was a complete and utter illusion and an illusion people continue to believe. It continues to disturb me that every time I speak of Rwanda, people make ill-formed statements of Rwanda still being exactly as it was in 1994. Since this experience I have been dedicated to encouraging others to create and voice their own stories to ensure their world and what we know of it is not defined by a single story.

My Areas of Expertise: Conflict Prevention, Mass Atrocity Prevention, Post-Genocide Reconstruction, Volunteerism

Comments 3

Log in or register to post comments
  • Fatima Waziri - Azi
    Aug 23, 2011
    Aug 23, 2011

    Hey there! Welcome to PulseWire!

    It’s so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fabulous time with your new online friends as well as find this to be a very positive experience. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

    Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you here on PulseWire!

  • Stephanie Roth Gurung
    Aug 23, 2011
    Aug 23, 2011

    So glad to have you join us on PulseWire! I look forward to hearing more of your and others' stories about Rwanda.


  • noreens
    Sep 30, 2011
    Sep 30, 2011

    I like what you wrote in your profile. It's so true that the media, tv etc can shape our opinion about countries and people based on a couple of events. And then the stereotypes have to be broken. I've seen this happen many times.