Podiumsdiskussion: Who Speaks for Whom - Volume 2
Education in Austria: The Representation of African Countries and the African Diaspora
In view of the fact that the education system plays a vital role in the creation and legitimation of knowledge, we want to discuss - based on academic research findings - how the African continent is currently portrayed in the Austrian educational sector. Historically speaking the African continent has been depicted in the context of abject poverty, violence and as being underdeveloped. The challenges with the Eurocentric one-sided representation of the motherland in school text books is that it ignores the actualities and specificities of social-political and economic dynamics of the continent and fails to address the complex situations prevailing in African countries. It also fails to examine the power relations between the Global South and Global North.
The purpose of this event is to present to national authorities and other stakeholders working in the field of education, concrete solutions and measurements on how to tackle this situation. Therefore, the initiative Advancing Equality Within The Austrian School System (AEWTASS), initiated by members of the African Diaspora is being finalized and will be introduced in its entirety at this symposium. The aim of the project is to change long-standing biases and omissions that limit the understanding of the African continent and to allow to change the above mentioned false narrative. We are of the opinion that it is of enormous importance to deconstruct distorted information about Africa and the African Diaspora and to reconstruct the history of facts in order to allow Austrian school children to receive a balanced, accurate and just portrayal of the African continent.
We will focus on questions such as the following:
- Do students have sufficient opportunities to deconstruct the erroneous information about the African continent that is presented to them?
- What are the requirements to amend an Austrian school textbook?
- How could a possible collaboration with members of the African Diaspora and the Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research be established?
- What is the role of an anti-racist educator?
We invite you to join an interesting, lively debate with our speakers and panellists.