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A Quest for Dignity

Wole Soyinka explores the notion of dignity within a climate of fear. What exactly is it, that even nations enshrine it in their constitutions and Bills of Human Rights?

The Nobel Laureate, playwright, poet and political activist Wole Soyinka explores the notion of dignity within a climate of fear.

Even in defeat, negotiating terms of surrender, a defeated nation pleads: 'Leave us something of our dignity'. Denied this little consideration, a doomed struggle is promptly resumed.
What exactly is this 'dignity' that even nations enshrine in their constitutions and Bills of Human Rights? Is it a basic core of volition? Or is it a sense of freedom? Obviously human dignity involves both, and encompasses more. No matter the mask that is worn to hide the reality of fear, dignity remains incompatible with the entry of fear into the human psyche.

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43 minutes

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