"We are all trying to approximate the truth of our own community..."

Submitted by laurastavro on May 9, 2011 - 2:01pm
How much can we really tell about ourselves? Can description ever suffice?

I recently found a video of poet Chris Abani speaking and in it he laments the description of Africa and the ignorance of people about the continent, its countries and communities. Of course, he also notes that when students asked him to tell them about Africa, he immediately went to google!

I recently found a video of poet Chris Abani speaking and in it he laments the description of Africa and the ignorance of people about the continent, its countries and communities. Of course, he also notes that when students asked him to tell them about Africa, he immediately went to google!

I think what he was trying to show was that there is a limit to the value of description, and to the value of lessons about places. " We are all trying to approximate the truth of our own communities..." I wonder - in this quest that, presumably, we are all on as bloggers or thinkers or seekers in this space - how much value does chronicling community have?

Abani's point is that we need to hear the music, taste the food, let the poetry of a community roll off our tongues if we hope to gain an insight deeper than that which is academic.

In hearing this I'd like to pledge my summer - dawning as it is now - to tasting the full culture of my community and the others in my city. I don't like eggplant or zucchini or avocado and I'm not a huge fan of country music but I will promise to try them all if they are presented to me. I will dance and frolic in these different experiences to the best of my ability and will also do my best to put that experience into words.

I would ask of you - can you do the same? I would love to hear about the adventures you find as you explore, to hear the music and perhaps see the videos or photos of the meals....

Happy playing - and happy summer :)

xx

L

Comments:
Love it

I am in Laura

Street food, late night bars, hikes in urban green spaces- who will I meet and see.

Much joy