I know that was a rather long winter break hiatus but I’m back to Albania and back to blogging. I just recently finished a novel by writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and have since become an instant fan of her work. Reading her work about race and belonging was truly inspiring, and I only hope to be able some day to articulate my writings have as well she does.
I began more searches about Adichie’s work and came across a Ted talk that she gave several years ago entitled “The Danger of a Single Story.” I am sharing a link to the talk below, and encourage all of you to have a listen when you can. I feel that it is very relevant to my work here in Albania, as I somehow try to ethnographically capture the stories of the people and places here. Now I know that for those of us that are anthropologists or social theorists, we discuss these topics regularly, but I do not think that these conversations occur enough in non-specialist realms. For example, for my master’s thesis I did a lot of research on travel narratives about Albania and the Balkans, many of which have painted a one-sided picture of Albania for the world to see. These narratives have often been over simplifications of people, of culture, and of history. Many of them are also filled with prejudiced and offensive language, particularly the ways in which Albania has been constructed as Europe’s other. A scan of some of this literature reveals how the danger of the single story operates, and continues to shape both people and places, as these stories are often told more regularly than those that present multiple views and voices.
As always I welcome your thoughts and ideas.