Listen: Learning from Intercultural Storytelling (Germany)

Applied ICDListen: Learning from Intercultural Storytelling (Germany).

The aim of LISTEN is to use “applied storytelling”, meaning storytelling without “professional” storytellers, in its many forms and functions as educational approach for the work with refugees – be it to support language learning, to exchange about cultural differences, to create visions etc.

In order to give refugees a voice in the receiving societies and to support their integration, LISTEN will explore different approaches to storytelling and how radio and other forms of audio broadcasting (e.g. podcasting) can be used as medium to share those stories.

Fiction Celebrates Common Humanity

Applied ICDEmre, M. (1 November 2018).  This library has new books by major authors, but they can’t be read until 2114. New York Times

The Future Library is a work of art that will take an astonishing 100 years to complete:

“In a small clearing in the forests of Nordmarka, one hour outside the city limits of Oslo [Norway], a thousand spruce trees are growing. They will grow for the next 96 years, until 2114, when they will be felled, pulped, pressed and dyed to serve as the paper supply for the Scottish artist Katie Paterson’s Future Library: an anthology of 100 previously unpublished books written by some of the 21st century’s most celebrated writers. There will be one book for every year the trees will have grown, each a donation from a writer chosen by the Future Library’s board of trustees — a gift from the literary gatekeepers of the present to the readers of the future.”

How is this relevant to intercultural dialogue?

“Turkish novelist Elif Shefak [who provided the fourth manuscript in the project]…describes writing a novel for the Future Library as ‘a secular act of faith’ in a world that seems to have gone mad, a world that violently accentuates the differences between people instead of celebrating their common humanity. ‘When you write a book,’ she says, ‘you have the faith that it will reach out to someone else, to someone who is different from you and it will connect us. That you will be able to transcend the boundaries of the self, that was given to you at birth, that you will be able to touch someone else’s reality.'”

The Power of Story

Applied ICDBarlow, Susanna. (31 October 2018). The power of story. The Nasiona.

“The collective story of what it means to be human and how we should treat one another is the foundation upon which our cultures, our religions, our rituals, and even our identities are predicated upon. Stories are the bedrock of civilizations and the mortar between societies. While there is much diversity among humans, it is through our shared story that we find mutual understanding and cooperation. It is also through stories that we create wars, incite violence against each other, and isolate ourselves from others’ suffering. Stories bind us to each other, and we can be bonded as easily by hatred as by love through a shared story. And when our hostility, our judgment, and misunderstandings cause us to battle each other, we still end up tethered to one another by the story of that conflict.”

One Small Step by StoryCorps

Applied ICDStoryCorps has started a new project, One Small Step, as a tool for encouraging dialogue.

“Over the last 15 years, StoryCorps has perfected a method for helping people feel more connected and for reminding us of the inherent worth of every person and every story. People come together to have otherwise impossible conversations, using our tools and questions. The microphone gives them license to talk about things they otherwise might not discuss.

Now, we are doing something different. We are asking people with different political views to record a StoryCorps interview with each other. Why? To break down boundaries created by politics and remember our shared humanity. To remind us that we have more in common than divides us and that treating those with whom we disagree with decency and respect is essential to a functioning democracy.

With One Small Step, we are seeking to counteract intensifying political divides, by facilitating and recording conversations that enable people who disagree to listen to each other with respect.”

Media Literacy Week Resources 2018

Applied ICD4th Annual U.S. Media Literacy Week, November 5-9, 2018.

“Media Literacy is the ability to ACCESS, ANALYZE, EVALUATE, COMMUNICATE and CREATE using all forms of communication. The mission of Media Literacy Week is to highlight the power of media literacy education and its essential role in education today.” Media literacy is a prerequisite for intercultural dialogue; without it, dialogue cannot occur.

NAMLE provides a wide variety of resources, including Free DVD/Streaming + Discussion Guide (for a limited time).

Media Literacy Week 2018 Continue reading “Media Literacy Week Resources 2018”

2019 UN’s International Year of Indigenous Languages

Applied ICD“On 21 October 2016 the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019 the International Year of Indigenous Languages, beginning on 1 January 2019. The International Year is an important international cooperation mechanism and a year-long celebration, involving a range of different stakeholders, dedicated to preserve, revitalize, and promote indigenous languages; as languages matter for social, economic and political development, peace building and reconciliation.

Indigenous languages are essential to sustainable development; they constitute the vast majority of the world’s linguistic diversity, and are an expression of cultural identity, diversity and a unique understanding of the world. The disappearance of indigenous languages has a negative impact on areas directly affecting lives of indigenous peoples such as, politics, health, justice, education and access to ICTs among other things.”

embRACE LA

Applied ICDThis nice example of applied intercultural dialogue was published a few months ago, but I just ran across it:

Bliss, Laura. (19 April 2018). What happens when 1,000 strangers talk race in L.A.? CityLab.

1000 Angelenos gathered at 100 dinners in April 2018 “in private homes around town…through a city-backed initiative to spark civic and civil dialogue…embRACE L.A., a city council initiative to open up civic and civil dialogues about race…The goal is simply to create space for neighbors to talk frankly about race.”

New University in Exile Consortium

Applied ICDThe New University in Exile Consortium (New UIE Consortium) is an initiative created by The New School to confront today’s surging threats to scholars around the world. The New UIE Consortium is a group of like-minded colleges and universities, each of which is committed to hosting at least one endangered scholar. The founding member institutions are: Barnard College, Brown University, Columbia University, Connecticut College, Georgetown University, George Mason University, The New School, Rutgers University – Newark, Trinity College, and Wellesley College.

The New UIE Consortium is designed to do considerably more than temporarily resettle scholars in new institutions. Its mission is to create an intellectual community of the rescued scholars and of the universities that sponsor them—by hosting seminars designed in collaboration with the scholars and their host institutions, as well as, creating workshops, an annual conference of scholars, and other collaborative projects that will bring the scholars into frequent contact with each other and their host colleagues. These activities will have both online and face to face components.

See also the list of past related activities at The New School.

NOTE: As a result of a follower of CID who wrote to UIE Consortium, a caveat needs to be added: at this time the University in Exile Consortium is not equipped to assist scholars outside the US.

USA Far Behind Europe in Language Learning

Applied ICDMcCarthy, Niall. (14 August 2018). The transatlantic divide in language learning. Forbes.

The infographic tells the story of just how few in the USA are bi- or multilingual,  summarizing a Pew Research Center report using Eurostat data, thus the focus on Europe vs the USA:

The explanation for the gap comes from an earlier Pew Research Center report, this one on the state of jobs in the USA, which showed that only 36% of Americans reported that knowing a foreign language was an extremely or very important trait for workers to be successful in today’s economy, ranking it last out of eight skills for workers’ success.

Opera as a Way to Integrate Refugees (Germany)

Applied ICDBarone, J. (12 August 2018). A German opera spotlights the refugee crisis, with refugees. New York Times.

A performance of Moses, by the Bavarian State Opera’s youth program, written for refugees, children of immigrants and born-and-raised Bavarians, demonstrates how to integrate and welcome refugees while simultaneously giving them language skills and producing opera. “In the opera, a mixture of new music by Benedikt Brachtel and adapted excerpts from Rossini’s “Mosè in Egitto,” the teenagers tell the story of Moses — common ground for followers of the Bible, Torah and Quran — with Brechtian interludes about refugee experiences and current events.”