The importance of history in understanding identity, developing an understanding of the world, becoming a rounded person and being inspired cannot be overstated. We all live in the present and we work towards the future – but how do we understand where we’re going and what progress looks like? To know exactly where you’re going, you first need to understand where you have come from. For that, you need an appreciation of history. But how can we appreciate history when it has all been distorted to fit the narrative of our colonial past?
History is supposed to help us connect with our identity, past struggles, success, originality, and cultural and political backgrounds to inspire us, but how can we be inspired if we are taught that our history only started during colonial rule? How can we get inspired when we are taught that our leaders who resisted colonial rule were traitors and evil when we as people seeking an identity keep monuments in remembrance of colonial masters who shed the blood of our ancestors?
History also encourages a deeper understanding of differences. How can we when our differences have become a source of conflict deeply rooted in colonialism and not an appreciation for diversity.?
CDR, therefore, focuses on creating awareness of the importance of originality and the history of people before colonial influence, reconstructing the past and identity through arts such as filmmaking, painting, workshops, theatre and talks. It deconstructs the stereotypes, myths, inadequacies and irregularities built around our identity as African people.
Colonial Dialogue and Reconciliation also advocate for deep reflections on the colonial past while paving the way for reconciliation and a better intercultural understanding. This program also has a special focus on the politics of the return of elements taken away from Africa during colonial times to Europe.
#BringBackNgonnso is our major campaign that is lending a hand to the people of Nso to unify and amplify their voices in the request for the return of Ngonnso, the statue of their founder stolen from Germany during colonial times.