- Jan 30 Opening conversation for "The Soul Selects her own Society: Women Artists from the Miller Meigs Collection"
- Feb 3 Taste of Service
- Feb 3 Macalester New Music Series presents INTERSECTION: Jazz Meets Classical Song
- Feb 4 'Moving Beyond Minnesota Nice:' Engaging Diversity in the Classroom
- Feb 12 Mitau Lecture
- Feb 17 Black History Month Keynote: Dr. Joy DeGruy - "Post-Traumatic Slave Syndrome"
- Feb 18 Mental Health Awareness Film & Speaker
- Feb 19 The Inaugural Lecture of James Dawes as DeWitt Wallace Professor of English
- Feb 19 Robert Blanchette on "Tombs, sunken ships and historic huts: studying ancient wood reveals secrets from the past"
- Feb 19 Chamber Music at Macalester: Brahms Clarinet Quintet with Osmo Vanska
By Will Chilton ’11
Economics, Environmental Studies
What struck me most wasn’t really the difference in wealth or race, but the surprising cultural
shift in community on the other side. --Will Chilton ’11
I studied abroad on the Macalester-Pomona- Swarthmore consortium program Globalization and the Environment in Cape Town, South Africa. Cape Town lies in the smallest of the world’s six floral kingdoms, the fynbos, a small region in western South Africa with overwhelming floral biodiversity.
Cape Town also makes a great place to study globalization, as its extreme polarization makes globalization highly visible. When visiting the wealthy areas of the city, visitors could be fooled into believing that they are in Europe. Tourists are directed toward enticing destinations, from stunning day hikes to a wine-tasting to a local colony of penguins. One can eat outstanding food, stay in immaculate accommodations, and have an experience that combines Cape Town’s natural beauty with the comforts of any other westernized city.
However, the reality for many Capetonians is much different; most of the population lives on less than $2 a day. I utilized my independent study project and the resources it provided me to see the other side of Cape Town, the “informal settlements,” where families live in shacks, and entire neighborhoods share communal toilets.
What struck me most wasn’t really the difference in wealth or race, but the surprising cultural shift in community. Here people didn’t have gates around their homes. They didn’t really lock their doors; rather, they often kept them open. One could acceptably walk into a stranger’s home and sit down, before explaining why he was there. Somehow, this part of the city that was known for danger and poverty managed to have the strongest signs of community.