CID Poster #13: The Blind Men and the Elephant

CID PostersThis is a bonus poster, designed by Linda J. de Wit who was the CID intern in 2017, and who has now returned as graphic design consultant. It illustrates the common expression “the blind men and the elephant” used to describe what can happen when only parts of something are examined, rather than the whole.

CID Poster 13: The blind men and the elephant:

The image was prepared to illustrate the first of the the newest CID series: In Dialogue: CID Occasional Papers, to be published shortly, by Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz. The quote integrated into the poster comes from that paper. It says:

The different approaches to intercultural dialogue might be described as a set of blind men studying individual aspects of the elephant, never realizing there is an entire beast. Those who have stepped back to see the entire animal deserve special attention.

Just in case anyone wants to cite this poster, the following would be the recommended format:

Center for Intercultural Dialogue. (2020). The blind men and the elephant. CID Posters, 13. Available from:

As with other series, CID Posters are available for free on the site; just click on the thumbnail to download a printable PDF. They may be downloaded, printed, and shared as is, without changes, without cost, so long as there is acknowledgment of the source.

As with other series, if you wish to contribute an original contribution, please send an email before starting any work to receive approval, to minimize inadvertent duplication, and to learn about technical requirements. As is the case with other CID Publications, posters should be created initially in English. If you want to volunteer to translate a poster into a language in which you are fluent, send in a note before starting, to receive approval.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue
intercult.dialogue AT

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Author: Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, the Director of the Center for Intercultural Dialogue, manages this website.

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