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07 / 09 / 2004
Adama Samassékou: “The closer mankind comes together the less we know about one another"

The session “New Creative Differences: learning to live together through the arts and languages" included experts from Mali and Turkey

Composer and goodwill ambassador from UNESCO, Omer Zülfü Livaneli, discussed cultural diversity and new technologies. Livaneli said that technological advances "have changed the world in which we live, we have never been so connected.” Livaneli said that information technology “allows for the exchange of ideas, values and knowledge among people but it also disseminates an increasingly homogenous culture that drowns out other cultures.

Livaneli expressed concerned about the way that “culture accumulated in the past is passed on to the future generations." He continued by saying that without “Stendhal or Hemingway our world would be flatter." The Turkish composer said that, “today people don't have patience for reading like they did years ago. The screen has become the great Mecca of humanity. Culture and tradition are below the hegemonic influence of science and images, we live in a visual cultures," said Livaneli.

The composer said that visual culture “is the culture transmitted from the United States, if these values were humanist I wouldn't worry but they have nothing to do with that. I'm not knocking the United States, I respect all cultures, but why does a culture have to accept just one standard?" asked Livaneli. “It isn't that I don't have hope, but I do want to call attention," concluded Livaneli.

President of the African Academy of Languages and former minister of education in Mali, Adama Samassékou, said that, “the closer mankind comes together, the less we know about one another." Samassékou said: “In Africa if we don't cry out it's because we know no one is listening," added Samassékou.

According to Samassékou, globalization “has allowed for the opening up of markets but the logic of the market is the logic of profit." He also said that, "globalization has caused the differences between regions and within regions and interior populations suffer most.” Samassékou thinks the world is divided into “globalizers and globalized”.

Samassékou discussed the differences in income and said that, “the 25 richest people in the United States have what the 2 billion poorest people have." The former education minister of said that this provokes differences in knowledge and ignorance, he who knows the most, has the most." Samassékou said that, “inequalities appear in access to knowledge; basic education necessities are not met.”

Samassékou thinks that, “these are the inequalities caused by new ignorances rooted in old ones." Thus Samassékou called for “updating the world in order to counteract the globalization of the markets”. According to Samassékou “ignorance causes intolerance.”

Samassékou believes that man “must be curious.“ "We cannot understand the world if we don't understand ourselves first," said Samassékou.

He said, “We must foment understanding and respect in the community in order to avoid and manage conflicts." Samassékou believes that, “education is primordial and thus we must reevaluate cultural difference and cultural diversity, repairing the marginalization of cultures in order to accept that cultural diversity is a dynamic process."

Samassékou defined pedagogic players. First, the family that “must instill values of sharing and solidarity." He also mentioned the schools and cultural associations that must foment the vision of the other.

Samassékou thinks that political parties and the press also play an important role in this processes.

“New literacies must be based on learning about others, oppressed languages and peoples," concluded Samassékou.