Competição Nacional de Oratória 2017 – EPSC no British Council Lisboa

Foto de Sílvia Ramadas

Aqui podem ler-se os três discursos que competiram com mais de 30 alunos de outras escolas nacionais, públicas e privadas, no evento dinamizado pela ESU, English Speaking Union, organização de que a nossa escola é membro, organizado no British Council em Lisboa. Atividade que surge no âmbito do Clube de Debate, este concurso tem o objetivo de promover competências linguístico-discursivas expressas em língua inglesa. Este ano o tema aglutinador foi “Peace is not the absence of war”, expressão retirada de um discurso de Martin Luther King.

O nível e a qualidade dos discursos apresentados por todas as escolas foi muitíssimo elevado e, apesar de ser apenas o segundo ano em que a nossa escola se vê representada com 3 alunas do 12º A -CT, vimos 2 alunas passarem ao grupo de finalistas. Inês Pereirinha e Ana Carolina Marques integraram os 10 finalistas, dando provas do seu comprometimento, saberes, capacidades analíticas, desenvolvimento de ideias e articulação do conhecimento, literacia no uso da informação e excelência.

Texto de Sílvia Ramadas

A Cold Truth

Truth – a statement proven to be or accepted as true – we accept multiple truths, such as the truth about gravity, about the shape of Earth, and many others. However, there are truths that we don’t accept… and today I’m here to talk about a cold truth.
In my 17 years of life, and I know that they’re not too many, I’ve never heard on television “Peace is finally a reality”. On the contrary, I always hear news such as “Syrian Civil War is not close to an end”, “Terrorist attack killed more 34 people”, “Mother killed her son”, and the list goes on and on… As we all know this is not a sign of peace, actually it is a sign of a absence of peace.
The human race has been on Earth for 12 thousand years, we have fought to achieve peace in many ways, we created triets, the universal declaration of the human rights, we even created a universal day of peace. However, despite all the efforts, we did not achieve peace.
The fact is, how can we achieve this goal if we don’t fully understand what it means? Well, peace is not just the absence of war, but it consists in a positive state where social justice and brotherhood in all kinds exist. Just like colours have different shades, peace has different shapes… For example, back in the sixties, the peace movement in America was basically the idea that if the Vietnam war could stop, there would be peace. If we look at the numbers, the rates of violence in America have only increased… Not only that, we may recall the cold war, where, in fact, there was no real war, but there was tension between countries that created an environment where it didn’t exist peace…
In Africa most political conflits are caused by the race for the economical power… They are caused because of the people that are in power. Most of their politicians are selfish or greedy… They don’t care about the people, they care about the money that they can make, no matter how much it costs… They don’t understand that all the money in the world can’t pay a human life.
The problem that we have in our hands is that we are all human… We are all selfish, greedy, we are not perfect… and we will always make bad things to others, no matter how hard we try… And that’s why we will never achieve a complete version of peace.
We may think… “ok, global peace is impossible, but what about individual peace?” Well, in my point of view, individual peace is relative. We can not feel a complete peace, when the world is not in peace… How can we feel safe, when the world is unsafe? How can we sleep at night when we don’t know if we are safe? How can we lay over in our beds, and think that millions of people have no bed to sleep in? In a world like this, how can we be trully in peace?
For me, that’s impossible… And that’s why I’m here today… because like my grandmother used to say “A cold truth is better than a swet lie”. Maybe, my presence here today, change your ways of thinking… maybe you will leave this place today, and work for a better version of yourself, for a better version of the world.
According to scientists the human race may be extinct in 100 years from now… 12 thousand years have already passed and we didn’t make any progress. Will we be able to win in this race against time and that way change this cold truth?

Ana Carolina Marques 12º A (discurso finalista)

Not everything is what it seems!

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
We are on the third month of 2017 so, I think it´s safe to say that the year did not start that long ago, It feels like it was yesterday that all of us, women were in our sparkling dresses and men in their suits counting down the seconds to get in the new year, but it also feels like it was yesterday that all of us were laying in our beds looking at the ceiling thinking  nostalgically about the year that was about to get to its end, the happy moments, those not so happy, all the amazing people that got into our lives and the not so amazing ones that happily left, but at the end of all of this very deep thinking session and now I am going to talk about something that truly happened to me, I thought “Sure there was some people that I came across this year that I did not like at all, but besides all that I did not have conflicts with anyone” and then, the thought that I was in peace popped into my head. What I did not know was that my year had been an iceberg and I was only thinking about what was on the surface of the sea.
So, later that day, I was talking to my sister and I remembered telling her that I thought  that I was a very pacific person, I think you could say I was very proud of myself, and right after I told her that she asked why and that´s when I poorly answered “I had no conflicts with anyone thoroughout the year” and she strongly replied “didn´t you have concerns that made you lose sleep at night, didn´t the thought of future take all of your hunger away, are you completely proud of yourself and everything you´ve done thoroughout the year, didn´t you keep problems to yourself because you were afraid to be judged, didn´t people laugh on you face because they say you are a nerd and have a sharp voice?” I was very shaken, all that I could think about was “That happened to me the whole year” and that´s when I came to a very important conclusion, being in peace means much more than the absence of conflicts with others, it means being stress-free, it means being accepted by society and not being judged, it is to seek forgiveness, not revenge towards others, it is to completely accept and be proud of who you are.
I decided to tell all of you my little story because I believe it´s possible to establish a parallel between it and the world. Like I am simply discriminated for having a sharp voice and for being a nerd, there´s millions of people that are discriminated for their racial and sexual preferences, like I lost my hunger thinking about the unknown future I have in front of me, millions lose their hunger because they are afraid to go outside and get robbed because it´s not safe, like I can´t sleep when I go to bed concerned about certain problems I have, millions awake at night thinking on how they can escape a life of slavery, including children, like I cry over some bad news I received, millions cry because they are abused everyday . With all of this I pretend to emphasize two aspects, firstly, my problems shouldn´t even be called problems when compared with some people´s concerns and secondly, we DO NOT LIVE IN A PEACEFUL WORLD! Peace is not merely the absence of war, it is a world where there is no civil disturbance, it is a world where everyone feels safe and has their human rights respected, it is a world where everyone gets along harmoniously, it is a world where everyone is afraid to be who they truly are, it is a world where everyone is free and able to express their ideas, peace ladies and gentleman is where no one is disrespected for being different!
To conclude, as John F. Kennedy once said “Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures” and I couldn´t agree more, I won´t say it will be easy to achieve peace, but I truly believe it´s possible yet to do so every single person from the seven billion that live in this planet has to help, no one can be left behind neither you or me, it´s mandatory that we all walk on the same direction, we all have to work for it because…

UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL.

Thank you,

Inês Pereirinha 12ºA (discurso finalista)

In a White-painted world

Good morning ladies and gentlemen,
I have always enjoyed a good story! And my grandmother was a master at recounting them, giving life and meaning to every word and every character…
I remember with fondness the fairies, witches, princes and princesses, but I never forgot the story of the White King. This king promised to offer a great prize to the artist who could paint peace. There were many competitors … But among those, two artists stood out. The first painted something very calm. A perfect mirror reflecting placid mountains that surrounded him and above them was a very blue sky with light white clouds. The second artist, also painted mountains, but these were rough and stripped of vegetation, over them there was a storm sky with sparks and thunder. Nevertheless, when the king watched closely, he noticed that behind a waterfall was a small branch that grew in the crevice of a rock, and in the middle of the noise created by the violent waterfall, he discovered a nest and a bird. Perfect peace!
Which do you think was the chosen painting?
The king chose the second one!… But why? He explained: “Peace does not mean to be in a place without noise, without problems, without hard work or without pain.” Peace means having the knowledge to choose with ability the moment to work, to build, to face problems and to find harmony.
I did not want to compare the king in my grandmother’s stories to our leaders and the global situation, in which we find ourselves. A situation, where racism and xenophobia are rapidly growing in Europe; where violence is deeply rooted in Latin America; where deadly clashes in the Middle East continue and where millions of people on the Asian continent are being affected by economic, social and political inequalities.
This reminded me of the great leader Martin Luther King and one of his sayings: “Have flown the air like birds and swum the sea like fishes, but have yet to learn the simple act of walking the earth like brothers.”
And I thought, “When will all this end?” Then I remembered the little bird, in the middle of the storm, hidden in the crevice of a rock. Getting him out of there would have been a brutal, but beneficial challenge, which would have lead him on path of freedom.
Each of us should follow the example of that little bird … Challenge yourself and do not be afraid to overcome barriers and build bridges of trust and loyalty around you. I am counting on each of you to build a world, where the colours of each of the continents merge into one, where the white that results from this fusion will paint peace in all nations.

Do you still remember the White king? Like him, me too would like to, one day assign a great prize to all men and women, who would unite to build a world where there was justice for all … A world, where freedom and union reigned and never lacked work, bread or water.
From here on forward, I want us to believe that nothing is impossible! … If we made it to the moon, maybe soon we will land on Mars. It is our duty to continue to fight and to believe, as our heroes did once before, letting equality, justice and peace guide us….to a white-painted world!

Thank you.

Maria Leonor Bento 12º A

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