Disguised intolerance? Black people disappear from Social Studies textbook cover


A picture must have undergone radical changes before being placed on a textbook cover.

“My classmate wanted to create a meme, took a picture of our textbook of and dropped it into web search engines. As a result, the Interned showed us many similar pictures, but we spotted a significant difference – there were black persons in these photos,” ninth-grade student Alyaksei told tut.by.

Indeed, all dark-skinned people with simply disappeared from the textbook image. Even the black-faced man standing in the centre of the original picture has a white face.

The surprised students decided to ask their teacher about the mismatch.

“This school subject [Social Studies] should teaches us tolerance, but such a picture is far from it. Our teacher explained that it was a coincidence, that the original picture did not fit,” Alyaksei said.

The book was released in 2009 by the state-run publishing house Education and Training. Graphic designer Vanda Zhaludkova who created an image for the cover, said the changes made were no big deal. However, she did not confirm the information that the original picture ‘did not fit’.

“Using original or doctored stock photos is normal practice. The idea for each cover is nurtured in the course of close cooperation of graphic designers and authors. Three designs are prepared, and then one of them is approved by he National Institute of Education and the Ministry of Education,” she stressed.

In turn, the publishing house said the image had been purchased from a photo bank and then edited ‘in accordance with the preferences of the authors and the client’.

belsat.eu, following tut.by

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