Presentation Reflection: Structural Violence and Power Imbalances

Document the Session: This week we discussed Structural Violence and Power Imbalances. The texts we focused on were Paul Farmer’s “On Suffering and Structural Violence” and James Baldwin’s “In Search of a Majority”. I used Prezi as the platform for my presentation and began with an introduction to the texts. I briefly summarized the contents and main points of each and how they both introduced and explained the concept of Structural Violence and Suffering. After that, I introduced two straightforward questions on Structural Violence and Suffering to warm the class up to deeper discussion. After that I moved to my activity where I had them write a region on one paper and had them explain why that region was suffering on another. The purpose of the activity was to de-abstract the concept of structural violence and to help identify it in current regions today. After that I had a TED Talk on a structural violence- education inequality in the United States, but the discussion went so well I didn’t have time to show it, unfortunately. After that I moved to my conclusion.

Reflection: I really enjoyed giving this presentation because it is an important topic that I don’t think many people realize exist. People see mass suffering but they don’t always know why they are suffering. Or conversely, people have heard of structural violence but they don’t always see it as being a problem in their community, its always “someone else’s problem” when in reality they themselves can be a victim of structural violence. Some critiques I have was I wish I could’ve explained structural violence better, I know what it is, I just have trouble putting it into words in a presentation. Also, I wish I would have incorporated my community in the discussion. I would’ve had plenty to say I just completely forgot to include it unfortunately. Also, I wish I had time to show my TED talk, it was really informative and provided a local real world example of structural violence.

Connections: I feel that I made many connections in my presentation. I connected the readings to the concepts and connected the concepts to real life- specifically through my activity. By asking for real world examples of suffering and making the class analyze the causes of them, we were able to understand how structural violence works in the world today.