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Topography and elevation matters. We can dry to make water dry ground (and vice versa), but not without future consequences.
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"An earlier GeoCurrents post on Chechnya mentioned that the Chechens were deported from their homeland in the North Caucasus to Central Asia in February 1944. However, the Chechen nation was not the only one to suffer such a fate under Stalin’s regime."
This is a painful page in world history, but it needs retelling. The Soviet era profoundly reshaped the cultural, political and economic geographies of the region.
Tags: Russia, migration, Central Asia, historical, war, ethnicity, political, gerrymandering.
Stalin’s Ethnic Deportations—and the Gerrymandered Ethnic Map | @scoopit via @APHumanGeog http://sco.lt/...
This relic from ancient Persia had a profound influence on the Founding Fathers
This video can be seen as the three minute version of a 20 minute TED talk by Neil MacGregor, the Director of the British Museum. He discusses the profound importance that the Cyrus Cylinder (A clay cylinder covered in Akkadian cuneiform script) had on modern political though on multiculturalism.
A different perspective of Paul Harvey's "God made a Farmer." In reference to the foreign-owned Chrysler Corp. that showed a similar video that aired during ...
As a cultural production this is fascinating reshaping of the original Chrysler Super Bowl commercial. The original doubles as a tribute to a rural America of yesteryear and American labor. This one acts as a critique on the status on Latino workers in the United States. The audio is the same, with images that conjure out entirely different messages (here is an irreverent parody).
Tags: agriculture, labor, rural, unit 5 agriculture, perspective.
As Kurds Fight for Freedom in Syria, Fears Rise in Turkey of Following Suit
Since the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Kurds have been caught in other people's plans for what the states of the Middle East should look like and are the largest 'stateless nation' in the world. Divided between Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, the Kurds have not been able to politically mobilize support for Kurdistan as they have been violently oppressed in these countries. The Kurds in Iraq have been able to gain political autonomy with the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime, and the Syrian Kurds are hoping to do the same if and when the Assad regime crumbles at the end of the civil war. This make Turkey concerned that the Kurds in the southeastern part of Turkey will make renewed efforts to push for sovereignty.
UPDATE: This PBS feature explains the historic timeline of the important political events for the Kurds in Iraq.This article from the Economist focuses on the key reason that outside forces won't leave the Kurds alone: oil.
Tags: Syria, ethnic, conflict, political, Turkey, culture, devolution.
How to handle it?
MEXICO CITY — Juan Chiu Trujillo was 5 years old when he left his native Mexico for a visit to his father's hometown in southern China. He was 35 when he returned.
Migratory patterns and globalization can lead to some intriguing cultural blends that would seem improbable 100 years ago. This story of shows vividly how ethnicity does NOT always correspond to culture.
When African states gained independence, the continent's new leaders agreed to respect the old colonial borders to avoid endless wars.
This interactive map shows the major conflicts on the African continent where the combatants have geopolitical aspirations to separate from the state and create a new, autonomous state. Click on the red arrows and you can read about the warring factions and the current situation in that region.
Tags: political, governance, Africa, unit 4 political, war, conflict, states, colonialism.
Fascinating interactive map looking at the separatist movements in Africa.
In the race to the White House, no ethnic group is more prized than Hispanics. President Obama ended deportations for some young undocumented immigrants, and the Romney campaign is vetting Sen.
This interactive map feature combines to interesting variables (at the county level): the percentage of the total population that is Hispanic, and the 2008 presidential election. Analyze your local area and a few counties as well. What connection exists between the two variables? How come? What are some exceptions to these general patterns?
The Endangered Languages Project is a website for people to find and share the most up-to-date and comprehensive information about the over 3,000 endangered ...
This short video is a great primer for understanding the importance of linguistic diversity. Why the loss of linguistic diversity (a global phenomenon) related to other themes on geography, such as political and economic autonomy for minority groups? Why are so many languages vanishing today? What forces are creating these emerging cultural patterns? For more on the project, see: http://www.endangeredlanguages.com/
An interesting case of identity politics is playing out in New York's new 13th Congressional District. A Dominican-American state senator is threatening longtime Rep. Charles Rangel in the district, which is now majority Hispanic.
Identity, whether it be be race, religious, color or creed absolutely matters in politics. Especially local politics where the demographics of a city or district play a major role in the viablity of a candidate. If the constituency perceives the candidate's cultural identity as either representing or not representing 'the people,' that can play a key role in the election.
The Electronic Intifada has produced this interactive map that allows you to see information about any of the more than 400 Palestinian cities, towns and villages depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba – the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by...
Admittedly, this is a source of information has a strong political agenda and the wording of the title might make some bristle. This is a good way to show how geospatial information can be used by non-state agents to pursuade viewers to their ideological position. Nabka (the day of catastrophe) is generally commemorated on May 15th, to remember the Palestinian villages that were depopulated or destroyed in 1948 after the creation of the state of Israel.
This chilling documentary outlines the historical genocide of Tutsi people predominantly by Hutu's in Rwanda during 1994. So often, students who have always lived within a society with effective political institutions are unable to see how such atrocities could even happen. This video lays the groundwork for understanding the disintegration of political institution within Rwanda, reasons the international community underestimated the threat, why the UN in 1994 (after Somalia) was not prepared to use forceful action and why westerners fled. In this state of lawlessness, the cultural tensions and colonial legacy lead to horrific killings. This genocide has no one reason, but a complex set of geographic contexts. This would be a powerful video to show students. WARNING: considering the content, there are necessarily depictions of death. To learn more about the documentary, see: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/ghosts/
while watching this video i was reminded of the very good film Hotel Rwanda, starring Don Cheadle. The only difference is while Hotel Rwanda is based on a ture story, this is a real life look at what was hapening in this area. It was sad to see hwat was happening and all I could wonder was why no one decided to hel pthem.
I attended an outstanding workshop on Holocaust Education sponsored by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and was introduced to these excellent teaching materials that they have online. The Holocaust can be taught with a goal of making connections with present day prejudice, persecution and crimes of hate that mar this world. Collectively, the geographic legacies of genocide are long-lasting, and must be remembered. For some local sources for the Holocaust Education and Resource Center in Rhode Island, see: http://hercri.org
"In April, the Associated Press decided the word 'illegal' should only be used to describe actions, not people. It's one of several major news outlets that have been reconsidering how to refer to people who are in this country illegally."
There is power in the words we choose, especially for those those that are in the media that influence the way we frame any topic. If a reporter in a news article, for example, were to describe a group as freedom fighters instead of insurgent rebels it impacts our perception of the news. See also this gallery of images on the U.S.-Mexico border.
Tags: migration, ethnicity, race, population, podcast.
Of all the changes announced by the 2011 census, one of the most startling is the rapid change in the ethnic composition of London's population.
The fact the immigrants moving to the UK have flocked to London is not surprising (View a map of the census data). Immigration isn't the only component to this situation. White Britons are also leaving London in large number, prompting some to refer to this as "White Flight." Today, white Britons are no longer the majority population within London (but still the largest ethnic group). Some feel that this story has gone underreported and deserves more analysis. What elements of human geography should an observer of this situation use in their analysis?
Tags: ethnicity, London, migration, census, urban.
Aboriginal leaders threaten to ban tourists from a top Australian landmark in protest at "racist" government policies.
This is an old article, but a fascinating topic that cuts across many geographic issues. Uluru, the landform that that European explorers named Ayers Rock, was the key place that is at the center of a struggle between indigenous people and the government. Many feel that the government's course of action in the mid 2000's was paternalistic and racist. They banned alcohol and pornography in over 70 indigenous communities in an attempt to lower the rates of child sex abuse. Sex Abuse is high (and often hidden) in aboriginal communities where a child is 7 times more likely to be abused than in the rest of the Australian population.
Questions to Ponder: Would the government impose such measures on other populations within Australia? When crimes have a racial component, does a government have the right to limit a particular groups' actions? Why or why not?
Tags: Australia, indigenous, ethnicity, race, Oceania.
It is Italy's richest province, and has been part of the country for almost 100 years - but some in South Tyrol just do not feel fully Italian.
While the idea of everyone of the same nationality belonging to the same country might be considered an ideal situation, the world's ethnic geography is too jumbled to create perfect nation-states. South Tyrol is a part of Italy that is one of those places with mixed a ethnic, linguistic and political heritage. By different criteria, many of the residents could be considered German, Austrian or Italian or a combination of the them. Since the Euro Zone fiscal crisis, the push for political autonomy in South Tyrol has intensified, in part because this region has avoided the crisis and is economically fairing better than the rest of Italy.
Questions to Ponder: How do political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line? What elements are a part of a regions heritage? Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages? How does devolution impact the whole country?
Tags: Italy, states, autonomy, ethnic, language, devolution.
Questions to Ponder: How to political borders reveal and conceal "the truth" about places on either side of the line? What elements are a part of a regions heritage? Can regions have multiple, overlapping heritages? How does devolution impact the whole country?
Take note Kate and Johnny!!
Israeli airstrikes began November 14, following months of Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.
"Monday, the top leader of Hamas dared Israel to launch a ground invasion of Gaza and dismissed diplomatic efforts to broker a cease-fire in the six-day-old conflict, as the Israeli military conducted a new wave of deadly airstrikes which included a second hit on a 15-story building that houses media outlets." This photo essay shows 34 powerful images that are emerging from this deadly conflict. If students need some background to understand who are the major players in this conflict, this glossary should be helpful.
Questions are growing about the fate of President Bashar Assad's regime. One possibility is the creation of a breakaway region in the northwest coastal mountains dominated by the president's Alawite minority.
This podcast explores the geopolitical possibilities that are facing the minority Alawites of Syria. If the major cities of Syria fall to the rebels, would a smaller Alawite breakaway state even be economically or politically viable? This podcast argues that it would not, and therefore many Alawites see this as a zero sum game. While this is all speculative, it uses spatial and geographic prinicples to assess the viability of possible outcomes.
President Obama and Mitt Romney are set to make appearances beginning Thursday at a major gathering of Latino officials and activists...
A core component of the 2012 U.S. presidential elections will be the demographic profile of both the Republican and Democratic Parties’ power base. For most of American history, the African-American population was the largest minority second to the Caucasian minority. Since the 2000 census, the Latino population has overtaken the African-American population as the largest minority in the U.S. How does this impact both parties? What are the strategies of both parties to appeal from a diverse set of voters? How does the immigration issue shape 'identity politics?'
U.S. census data shows racial diversity is increasing in major cities across the United States. But highly diverse neighborhoods are still rare, newly arrive...
I've read within the last few months articles mentioning that segregation in inner city neighborhood are on the rise, and other headlines stating that ethnic diversity within urban areas is at an all-time high. My first reaction was, "so which is it?" This research shows how to make sense of both of these trends which seem contradictory. For more context on this issue, see: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/neighborhoods/2012/06/watch-these-us-cities-segregate-even-they-diversify/2346/
For a segregation at all time low article, see: http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1145693870/segregation-hits-historic-low
For the link to 'segregation is still rampant,' see: http://www.scoop.it/t/geography-education/p/1103106026/reports-of-the-end-of-segregation-greatly-exaggerated
Some of the toughest and most persistent poverty in America exists on Indian reservations, like Pine Ridge in South Dakota. But it’s not hopeless.
One need not leave the United States to find areas of poverty akin to less developed countries. Reservations for Native Americans often fit that description.
This is a short, but effective video to quickly explain the geographic factors that have led to such turmoil within the Darfur region. For more in-depth resources, see:
Twenty years ago this week, the Bosnian war began with the siege of Sarajevo, the longest in the history of modern warfare. The siege ended more than three years later, leaving 100,000 dead — the worst atrocities in Europe since World War II.
Ethnic and political conflict led to the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. This NPR podcast is a good recap that shows the devolutionary forces of ethnic, religious, cultural and political differences that led to tragic violence and ethnic cleansing.