CID Poster #12: The Elephant in the Room (reprise)

CID Posters(We are reprising the series of posters, because it has been several years since they were originally created, and they are much too wonderful to let them not be noticed by newcomers to the site!)

This 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 elephant in the room” used to describe something which is obvious but not being discussed openly.

CID Poster 12: The elephant in the room

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:

Intercultural dialogue might be called the elephant in the room, a metaphor referring to something obvious which is none-theless ignored. Most often, practitioners and diplomats use the term intercultural dialogue, but they rarely define it, and conduct little to no research in order to discover how it works, but only hold it up as a desired end. Academics, who certainly conduct research, rarely use this term, thus have rarely studied it, although some research by other names sheds light on how it works.

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

Center for Intercultural Dialogue. (2020). The elephant in the room. CID Posters, 12. 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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