The story of the "Lost Boys" of Sudan is a heartbreaking and inspiring tale of youth caught in cultural and geopolitical conflicts and fored to leave their homes. The film God Grew Tired of Us tells a moving story of young people overcoming incredible challenges and struggling to improve their own lives and those of family and friends left behind." Linked here is a lsson plan from National Geographic "to teach students about concepts of migration, cultural mosaics, sense of place, and forces of cooperation and conflict among communities" using this 90 minute documentary. The film can be viewed online on HULU as well as other media outlets.
Tags: culture, Africa, political, conflict, war, migration, development, APHG.
This is an intriguing look into security, terrorism, politics and the city. The most interesting places are often the most unconventional and places like Jerusalem with it's geopolitical importance, makes for a very compelling urban landscape.
This video clip shows the historical background of the political and economic factors that have lead to competing claims in the South China Sea. The Exclusive conomic Zone (EEZ) with projected oil fields is the main prize and China has been flexing it's regional muscles.
The weird, violent history of the Indo-Pakistani border.
Geography rarely makes sense without the added lens of history. This fantastic article chonicles the history of the geopolitical conflict between India and Pakistan, centering on the disputed Kashmir region. This border is tied into colonial, cultural, political and religious layers of identity. As one of the great unresolved issues of the colonial era, this standoff may loom large as India becomes increasingly significant on the global scale.
The resources tab of the National Council for Social Studies (NCSS) webpage is a treasure trove of lesson plan materials for teachers. This particular link focuses on War and Terrorism, and provides resources to help teachers to educate their classes about the emerging geopolitical landscape. This is a set of over 30 lesson plans, articles, maps and resources that focus on the U.S. war in Iraq, terrorism, and other military incursions in the Middle East. Collectively they give geographic perspective on current events so students can understand more about the places in the world that they hear about in the news.
Learn more about the ethnic, religious and political powerplays in and around Iraq during a virtual tour of the region led by NBC’s Richard Engel.
This is an incredibly well-put together, video/slideshow about the complex geography of within Iraq that has lead to so many difficulties in the post-Saddam Hussein era. The ethnic patterns, religious divisions, spatial arrangements of resources as well as the larger regional context all play roles in creating the a contentious political environment.
Watch this Jewish Voice for Peace 6 minute mini-primer about why Israelis and Palestinians are fighting..
This video from the Jewish Voice for Peace has a more politically motivated angle than most of the resources that I post on this site, but I feel that they do justice to both sides as well as the truth. In a simple way it lays out the roots of many of the problems in the region with historic and geographic perspectives.
Today, a country’s marine economic area is defined by its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), a 200-nautical mile-wide (370 km) strip of sea along the country’s national coast line (hi-res image). This regulation, which was installed by the ‘UN Convention on the Law of the Sea’ in 1982, grants a state special rights to exploit natural (such as oil) and marine (for instance fish) resources, including scientific research and energy production (wind-parks, for example).
Questions to ponder: how does this series of buffer zones around the Earth's land masses impact politics, the environment and local economies? Where might the EEZs be more important to the success of a country/territory than other regions?
Across Africa, a continent where the average age is about 19, protests have flared against leaders who may have outstayed their welcome.
This interactive mapping feature compares two distinct data sets in an attempt to show that the two are correlated on the continent of Africa. The base layer of this thematic map is demographic, noting how much of the overall population in a given country is under the age of 16. The interactive feature with point data describes the political unrest or instability in that particular country.
Questions to ponder: Does the cartographer 'convince' you that Africa's having a very young (globally speaking) demographic cohort led towards greater political instability? Are there other factors worth considering? What does this map and it's embedded data tell us?
Tags: Africa, political, conflict, unit 4 political, states, governance, population, demographics, unit 2 population.
Browse the timeline of war and conflict across the globe.
This database of global wars and conflicts is searchable through space and time. You can drag and click both the map and timeline to locate particular battles and wars, and then read more information about that conflict. This resource would be a great one to show students and let them explore to find what they see as interesting. This site is brimming with potential.
Where you find a border, you usually find somebody pissed off about it.
Disclaimer: This article is more glib and crude in its language than I typically post. However there is some great insight in this article about the curiosities that can occur on the borders that merits inclusion here. Enclaves, walls, roads, glaciers, and tables all play prominent roles in these 5 quirky borders.
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/
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.
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