Majority World

When we met in Mozambique to hammer out the structure of the Shutha project, one of the first tasks was to define the mission. Here’s what we came up with:

Free training for professional photographers and multimedia storytellers in the Majority World.

It was my first encounter with the term Majority World.  Although I had not heard it before, I instantly knew what it meant,  and could see a whole host of implications that the term carried. I bet I don’t even need to define it for you (but you can click here if you want to see a definition.)

Good language is like that – it helps you understand concepts, and puts things in perspective.  In many ways, the terminology sets the tone of the debate (Freeedom fighter v. Insurgent, Death Taxes v. Estate Taxes.) The majority of the world is not white, nor rich, nor American. And as a white “rich” American, it’s useful to see yourself in a world context.

Since I returned in February, any time I hear the term “minority” as applied to a person of color, I feel a real sense of irony. As the world gets smaller and flatter, it’s even more important that we gain perspective about where we fit in a global context.