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Unit 3 (Cultural Geography)
Folk and Popular, Language, Ethnicity, and Religion
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61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan

61 Amazing Manhole Covers from Japan | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it

Manhole covers are ubiquitous in the modern urban fabric; they are typically drab and purely utilitarian.  In Japan, municipalities take pride in the this ordinary piece of the landscape and convert them into extraordinary works of art that reflect the local people, place and culture. 

 

Tags: book review, landscape, art, urban, culture, place, EastAsia.

 


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Lauren Stahowiak's curator insight, April 14, 6:00 PM

This is a great take on art and the ways of celebrating Japan with touches of personal findings and ideas. These manhole covers are cheery and reflect a piece of Japan that not only tell stories, but embrace history.

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Burning Man

This annual arts festival with a strong counter-cultural ethos literally is an experiment in producing alternative urban and cultural geographies that reject normative regulations embedded within societies.  These geographies created last only about a week, as an escape from the regular strictures of society.  The ephemeral alternative geographies then fade back into the desert but not without creating a visually remarkable place.  A word of caution, it is a 'clothing-optional' event, so launching a Google image search live in class is not recommened.

 

I'll let the producer of the video explain: "It is an 8-day event which takes place annually in late August in the temporary city of Black Rock City located in a dry lakebed in northwestern Nevada, USA.  The radial streets are laid out like a clock face, from 2:00 to 10:00. I have marked some of these streets as well as some of the prominent and favorite theme camps and villages.  The attendees are all participants in a sense and are themselves the attraction. There is no corporate sponsorship or presence of any sort. Only ice and coffee are sold. Everything else is brought in under the concept of 'radical self-reliance' or gifted by others. Most 'burners' participate by finding the creative or artistic thing that they enjoy most and do best, do it to the fullest extent, and share it as much as possible."

 

Tags: art, culture, unit 3 culture, popular culture. 


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Nicholas Rose's comment, December 6, 2012 11:40 AM
Well, when I think of this festival called Burning Man it seems to violate the social norms that we have as a society. As for the previous video we saw, people can get seriously hurt at a festival like this especially at Woodstock in which that festival's been going on for years.
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Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style

Break Dancing, Phnom Penh-Style | Unit 3 (Cultural Geography) | Scoop.it
A former gang member from Long Beach, California, teaches break dancing to at-risk youth in Cambodia.

 

This video is a great example of cross-cultural interactions in the era of globalization.  Urban youth culture of the United States is spread to Cambodia through a former refugee (with a personally complex political geography).  What geographic themes are evident in this video? How is geography being reshaped and by what forces?


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Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, April 18, 5:43 PM

This man was originally from California, but was kicked out of America and now lives in Cambodia. “KK” introduces break dancing, rapping and even taught basic computer skills to the at risk children of Cambodia. The children are some of the best break-dancers I have ever seen. A man by the name of "KK" inspired and gave the youth of Cambodia hope. 

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 1, 11:00 AM

Bringing different cultures into different lifestyles is an important part of cultural history. Every culture is linked in some way to another one. What this break dancer does to help these kids is awesome. As a former Cambodian refugee he had never been to Cambodia but was sent back there. His L.A./past gang influences have helped many kids to stay away from gangs and to take up schooling and break dancing instead.

Paige Therien's curator insight, May 2, 3:05 PM

Urban United States culture has been introduced to Cambodia's youth by K.K.  K.K., who lived in California his whole life as the child of Cambodian refugees, was deported to Cambodia, a place he had never even visited before, due to a felony charge.  K.K created an organization which taught Cambodia's youth about HIV protection, computers, and drugs.  He made his organization attractive to Cambodian youth by introducing them break-dancing and rapping.  In the U.S. these activities are often viewed in a negative light, but K.K. used them positively by introducing them to a population with no prior knowledge of them.  He also recreated his own identity by mixing his new, vastly unknown Cambodian experience with his life experiences from the U.S.   He is an example of the many people who struggle with forming a more global identity in our global world.  This organization targets at-risk kids and K.K. is probably trying to direct their lives the way he may wish someone had done for him.