Eurocentrism in Art, History and Science.

This post could be seen as a continuation of my previous post where I explored the notion of focalization. The latter deals with a representation of a point of view upon a subject by a certain individual, while this post deals with the mainstream collective perspective that shapes to our worldview and gives directions to our thinking and acting.

As a writer of historical fiction I’m sometimes a little exacerbated by the eurocentric approach in history, science and art. An excellent example is “the discovery of the Americas”; just like before no one knew about the existence of this continent. When history would have been written by the Native Americans, many of history’s heroes would be described as bloodthirsty greedy barbarians who committed genocide.

eurocentric-24

Or the so called Dark Age in human history that lasted for about 1,000 years between the fall of the Western Roman Empire and the illumination. Just like over the whole world the lights went out, while ignoring that during this period the Chinese civilization reached a peak with the invention of the book printing, the compass and the gunpowder.

dark ages

In art and science we see the same one-sided perspective. What does the public outside China knows about the rich Chinese literature? Or the denigrating opinions of Western scientists about the classic African medicine as a voodoo science. Or what would have been the actual state of our science when the Western explorers would have crossed the oceans to learn instead of to conquer?

the whit man s buren

And what to say about the still prevailing drive of some Western zealots to bring Jesus and democracy to the “Third World”; even when they want none of it. Or the ridiculing of the Bhutanese model that makes the Gross National Product inferior to a Gross National Happiness Index. Maybe because the latter is pointing to some deficits in our so hailed system of democratic representation and its inability to look further than the next elections, while our so called representatives degenerate into self serving dynasties and clans?

2 Comments

    1. A fair and open global vision upon history is a prerequisite for a multicultural approach in science, art and politics. Glad you found time to come by and thank you for leaving a comment.

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