Myths and Legends from the unknown world or Information for development.

On Monday 4.4 was hosted this years first experiential workshop, in cooperation with neighboring platform Malaika. This time the workshop was focused on journalists, to hand over the experience from the field of development countries and examples of development cooperation, in order to submit a truer picture on the situation in Africa and also in order to help to prevent the spread of prejudice about this continent in the Czech Republic. Antonia Nyass, the singer and musicotherapist from Yellow Sisters,  was tutor of the course and was accompanied by Papis Nyass, the well known dancer and drummer from Gambia. 

Akce proběhla v rámci celostátní kampaně Česko proti chudobě. Chtěli jsme oslovit média a předat jim informace o africkém kontinentě, životě komunit, spolupráci s nimi a našich rozvojových projektech prostřednictvím prožitku ve spojení s hlasem, bubny a zpěvem pod vedením zkušených lektorů. V dnešní době, kdy jsou všichni přehlceni informacemi z nejrůznějších, často pochybných či manipulativních zdrojů, věříme, že tohle je správná cesta, jak lidem přiblížit africký kontinent, tak abychom zabránili předsudkům. Inspirovali jsme se publikací Mýty a legendy z neznámého světa, kterou napsal Tomáš Tožička, koordinátor kampaně ČpCH.

The event was part of a nationwide campaign Czech against povertyWe wanted to focus on media and provide them with the information about our development projects, about African continent, about life in communities, cooperation with them- all of this through the experience in conjuction with voice, drums and singing, under the guidance of experienced instructors. We believe, this is the right way to educate people about the African continent,and how to avoid prejudices, especially nowadays when everyone is glutted with information from various, often manipulative or questionable sources. We were inspired by publication Myths and legends of the unknown world, written by Tomas Tozicka, the Czech republic against poverty campaign coordinator. 

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"Peope in Gambia see a tourist, lying for three weeks on the beach, buying expensive food and thus they think it works here this way. They dont know though, that these toursists are on vacation, they worked hard to afford. Moreover they do not know that most of them can not actually even afford such vacation. Also thanks to this, we are now experiencing such migration wave. Media provide distorted information."  Papis Nyass

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Can media inform objecitvely and withut prejudices?

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"Today we live in a time of informative society, but it does not mean that we became well-informed society. Information flow turned into a congestion and the news are slowly turning into entertainment and propaganda. Our (un) consciousness about the world, which tiny part is also our country, is more and more like consciousness about the world of myths and legends. Those myths are nutured and supported, because the situation of the locals is not sufficiently explained. The problem in mutual understanding is the different perception of values and evaluations through the own culture. We are not able to understand the behavior of other people in other countries and on other continents, because we look at it only through our ingrained cultural and social models." Tomas Tozicka

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The seminar was filled with friendly and pleasant atmosphere.

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In my country, we do not ask a man "What have you accomplished", we do not measure human by his carreer success. What is important is the natural aspect of a human and his values. For example, music is almost sacred, the most important aspect and part of  life. I could not live without dance and music.  Papis Nyass

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Area of Malaika was decorated with African motives and on the walls were placed photographs showing the theme of Opening the well for drinking water in Kindia. We prepared snacks, coffee and tea, so no one starved during the presentation. :) Videoprojection from our trips was on program in the afternoon. The workshop was accompanied by Tana Bednarova (Wontanara founder and coordinator of development projects in Guinea), Antonia Nyass and Tomas Tozicka. They mentioned various aspects of development cooperation with a focus on Africa and described the most common stereotypes of thinking about the so-called developing countries. The most interestng were the examples from long-term practice of development cooperation in Guiena. Papis Nyass and his drummers workshop joined the interactive part of the program. 

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"In Gambia, I saw locals using magi spices as they see it on TV, so I said: Don't do it it's poison, and I explained them, that the best food is the one they grow themselves, the one that grows on the sun. Simply do not eat what looks odd. Suddenly they gathered together and started to talk about it. What we bring over there, is almost sacred to them. They are willing to hear any advice and they follow them, if only it makes a little sense. Therefore we have great responsibitily to give them correct advices, so they do not need to repeat our mistakes. The fact, that their family and relationships are the most important to them, is one of the essential differences between their community and our individual way of life." Antonia Nyass​

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Some myths were broken down, such as:

  • People in developing countries are poor because they are lazy and work a little.
  • In developing countries, people are more violent than we on "the West" are, and they are still in war between each other.
  • We are just sending enourmous amounts of money to poor countries and there is no benefit for us.
  • People in poor countries do not have enough food because due to overpopulation.

WONTANARA - NGO

Tyršova 1, 120 00 Prague 2
Czech Republic
phone: +420 604 983 875
e-mail: info@wontanara.cz

© 2014 Wontanara, o.s.

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