This week in IFG, we moved from noticing our level of awareness to actually investigating what we are aware of. After trying to quickly identify the U.S. and Spain in photos, we explored our own perceptions of both countries and questioned where those perceptions came from. For example, why did some people automatically associate the following photo with the U.S. while others identified it with Spain?
We specifically touched on the difference between image and reality, such as the positive image of diversity the U.S. puts forth despite both current and historical segregation, among many other racial issues. This raised the question, are we aware of how racism functions in Madrid?
Lastly, we discussed how our current ideas of Spain as “relaxed” and “social” while the U.S. is more “individualistic” and “materialistic” can either be challenged or confirmed over the course of the semester. Because a “culture will not reveal itself to you in it’s entirety,” as Susan says, becoming aware of our routines and establishing more contact zones will help create a more nuanced and thus, more accurate image of the country in which you all live and the country from which each of you came.
Please send a write-up to your IFG leader of a recent experience that shocked you or you were unsure about. Be ready to role play what to do in those scenarios next week!
Deadline: Sunday at 18:00h
Struggling with the slow pace of Spain? Read Las Morena’s de España’s post
“Slow Living in Spain: 4 Things I’ve Learned”
In Madrid this weekend? Create a new contact zone and check out the Festival AfroConciencia!