Ashamed of who they are and culturally in danger: Sierra Leone!

by Cynthia_pare on January 25, 2016 - 6:15pm

Sierra Leone, although situated in an African region it has been americanised a lot, mainly in terms of their architecture. This can be explained by the fact that it was founded by freed American slaves 200 years ago. Since then, they have not modernised at all until Amid’s arrival. Sierra Leone’s infrastructures looked like an old South-American city with his yellow clashing buildings made of wooden boards. However, a wave of urbanisation was brought by Amid, a man whom had a strong preference for a concrete style. Most citizens approved with Amid’s ideas. This is how buildings made of glass started to appear too rapidly according to Isatu Smith, a woman who had the conviction to stop the growth of the modernisation and those wooden old ones’ to disappear. She is the representant of the country’s Monuments and Relics Commission.  With each building pulled down, a part of their history and heritage was also being buried at the same time. Traditionalists on Smith’s side were not numerous, even though she had enough strong arguments to enable that wave of modernisation to last. Nowaday, their traditional hood is turning into ruins, their places are becoming less and less comfortable to live in and expensive to maintain. Plus, Sierra Leoneans do not share any particular pride for their culture, since they always have been taught to be ashamed of their ethnic group. When the money is sufficient they rather live in a nice and modern place. Ms. Smith tries to find as many ways as possible to convince her city and mainly the government of the benefits of the preservative of their heritage. They started considering, but with the rapid spread of the disease Ebola, it affected the project putting their health as a priority, which I think was the right decision to take at that time. Sierra Leone, although situated in an African region it has been americanised a lot, mainly in terms of their architecture. This can be explained by the fact that it was founded by freed American slaves 200 years ago. Since then, they have not modernised at all until Amid’s arrival. Sierra Leone’s infrastructures looked like an old South-American city with his yellow clashing buildings made of wooden boards. However, a wave of urbanisation was brought by Amid, a man whom had a strong preference for a concrete style. Most citizens approved with Amid’s ideas. This is how buildings made of glass started to appear too rapidly according to Isatu Smith, a woman who had the conviction to stop the growth of the modernisation and those wooden old ones’ to disappear. She is the representant of the country’s Monuments and Relics Commission.  With each building pulled down, a part of their history and heritage was also being buried at the same time. Traditionalists on Smith’s side were not numerous, even though she had enough strong arguments to enable that wave of modernisation to last. Nowaday, their traditional hood is turning into ruins, their places are becoming less and less comfortable to live in and expensive to maintain. Plus, Sierra Leoneans do not share any particular pride for their culture, since they always have been taught to be ashamed of their ethnic group. When the money is sufficient they rather live in a nice and modern place. Ms. Smith tries to find as many ways as possible to convince her city and mainly the government of the benefits of the preservative of their heritage. They started considering, but with the rapid spread of the disease Ebola, it affected the project putting their health as a priority, which I think was the right decision to take at that time. Losing their population would be the biggest lost for their history. However, the issue is still presen, not caring about their identity and where they come from can be dramatic in terms of losing their culture. Do you think Smith is right to continue her battle in this path? Do you think even though Sierra Leone is very fragile that their history should take a larger place in their philosophy?

Tommy Trenchard,"Part of Sierra Leone's history is being dismantled board y board." New York Times. New York Times, 19 Janv. 2016. Web. 25 Janv. 2016. http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/20/world/arfrica/freetown-sierra-leone-bo...