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These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa

These Amazing Maps Show the True Diversity of Africa | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"African countries are also quite diverse from an ethnic standpoint. As the Washington Post's Max Fisher noted back in 2013, the world's 20 most ethnically diverse countries are all African, partially because European colonial powers divvied up sections of the continent with little regard for how the residents would have organized the land themselves. This map above shows Africa's ethnographic regions as identified by George Murdock in his 1959 ethnography of the continent."


Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, political, language, ethnicity.


Via Seth Dixon
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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:54 AM

Africa is a very diverse and complicated continent due o mistakes made in the Berlin Conference. The strange boundaries drawn restrict these African nations to be one with their own people not with their enemies.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:51 PM

We have seen the repercussions of ethnic tensions play out in the Balkans, the Middle East, and even in the United States, and Africa is no exception. Arbitrarily drawn national borders- the remnants of European colonialism- means that there is often significant ethnic diversity within many African nations. Although this creates interesting blends of language and culture, it has often bred violence in many countries, perhaps most notably in South Africa and Rwanda. Although many members of the West like to lump the entire continent into a single category, this could not be further from the truth. The second largest continent with extreme biodiversity, it has bred thousands of languages and hundreds of different cultural backgrounds, sometimes within a single country. It is important for the West to understand the complex make-up of the African continent in order to avoid the Eurocentric assumptions many Westerners make when discussing the continent. There isn't a single "Africa"- there isn't even a single "Nigeria," but rather a multitude of different peoples and cultures, equally as complex as those found in other regions of the world. This map does a very good job at illustrating the complexity and richness of the continent.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:20 AM

People often underestimate how diverse Africa really is. We often have the tendency to lump all Africans together in one large ethnic group. The actual number of different ethnic groups in Africa is rather staggering. This map can also be used as a partial explanation for the amount of ethnic conflict in Africa. Often times, these ethnic groups are squashed together in states with poorly drawn borders. Under that situation, ethnic conflict becomes inevitable.

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The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
How alarmist, racist coverage of Ebola makes things worse. A dressing down of the latest #NewsweekFail.

Via Seth Dixon
Nevermore Sithole's insight:

The long and ugly tradition of treating Africa as a dirty, diseased place

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Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, April 9, 2015 2:21 PM

Before I even read the article, my first thought went to the Linneaus classification.  That really damaged history with this one chart.  I think people still think of Africans and blacks(very dark blacks) as dirty or unintelligent.  Which is horrible and couldn't be further from the truth.  Misinforming the public is criminal.  News media and social media need to be careful and educate properly.  I've been asked from a customs offical, "Have you been to Africa in the past 6 months?"  Which is a very blanket question because Africa is a continent.  There were areas that were not hit with Ebola.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 4:37 PM

Those who deny the continued influence of racism in our society are blinding themselves to the truth. Contemporary influences of the racism that plagued the preceding centuries are still found in most major media depictions of Africa. The Ebola epidemic has served to highlight the bigotry that plagues Western media, as the assumption that all of Africa is diseased and dirty is continuously perpetuated (when, in reality, Ebola only affected a very small part of the continent). Africa is presented as "other," a backwards continent that is in desperate need of Western help and guidance- in what was is that different from the European colonizers who also viewed their actions as benevolent attempts to "civilize" the uncivilized? That mindset has not left Western circles, and yet we continue to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate ourselves for suddenly being so tolerant. The insensitivity of Western audiences to the concerns of black individuals both at home and in Africa related to the prevalence of racism highlights how determined mainstream media is to deny the existence of a problem. Until we recognize the Eurocentrism that continues to plague our media and make the necessary moves to correct the practice, harmful depictions of Africa will continue to loom large in Western media and in the opinions of many Europeans and Americans alike.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:12 AM

Africa has long been treated by the western media as a dark , brutish, uncivilized place. Africa is a place were people starve and murder each other in large numbers. There is so much more to Africa than the picture I just described. The problem is, many people just do not accept the existence of a culturally complex Africa. That narrative would destroy the traditional  darker narrative of the past 500 years. A narrative grounded in the beliefs that blacks are inherently inferior beings. During the Ebola crises, the calls to cut off travel to Africa were quick and demanding. Had the crises been in England, would those same calls have been so loud? I think we all can guess the answer  to that question. Much progress has been made, but we still need to change our cultural depiction of Africa.

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Iraq's Current Devolution

"A radical fringe Islamic group names ISIS is fighting to establish a extremist Islamic state in Iraq and Syria...and beyond. They control eastern Syria, western Iraq, just took control of Iraq's 2nd largest city of Mosul and are advancing on the capital Baghdad.  In this podcast, the professor John Boyer outlines just a few of the contributing factors to why this significant event is taking place, the geographic/historic background of the state, and the consequences for the future of the region."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, June 18, 2014 8:41 AM

If you haven't yet discovered John Boyer, a.k.a. the Plaid Avenger,  I recommend exploring his site.  He has numerous resources for world regional geography and current global affairs.  His colorful persona is highly entertaining for college age-students as his class attracts over 3,000 students each semester (you can decide for yourself whether that personality works for you and your classroom).  This particular 'plaidcast' discussion focuses on Iraq's current devolution and possible total collapse. 


Tags: SyriaIraq, MiddleEast, conflict, political, geopoliticsborders, colonialism, devolution.

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, June 23, 2014 12:27 PM

unit 4

Michael Mazo's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:04 PM

Iraq's position in regards to the militant groups has steadily affected the countries global and economic status in more ways than one. As these militant groups such as ISIS continue to grow then so will their territory and intensity of self-less acts. Not only are these groups a disease to the world but they affect the way our global economy works. ISIS controls oil fields and vast amounts of land in Iraq, Syria and other middle-eastern countries. In my opinion, America's decision to fire airstrikes onto these militant groups could be both good and bad. Good because it will decrease the amount of ISIS members but bad because it could be an incentive for ISIS to cause further damage and chaos in reference to revenge. At this pace, ISIS and other such groups will gain claimed territory in which will come at the cost of innocent lives of women and children. They must be stopped before issues get worse.

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Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it
What if the Black Plague had killed off almost all Europeans? Then the Reconquista never happens. Spain and Portugal don't kickstart Europe's colonization of other continents. And this is what Africa might have looked like.


Tags: Africa, colonialism, borders, historical, map.


Via Seth Dixon
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Bob Beaven's curator insight, March 26, 2015 2:26 PM

An interesting fact for a geographer/historian to look at is how different events happening in history can affect a map.  This is very fascinating, because Africa or should I say Alkebu-Lan has very strong looking kingdoms without the Influence of Europe.  Another interesting element of the map is how it is not Euro-centric, Africa is shown as the top of the world.  I guess in this history, Northern Europe instead of being a powerhouse of the world, would be classified as the dark region (like the Congo was in our own world).  It is also interesting how the map is not Euro-centric, but the fact to keep in mind there is the old saying, history is written by the winner.  In this case, the map of the world was drawn by the winning Europeans as well, and this map completely reverses that.  Another interesting fact, is that the Iberian is part of an Islamic Empire.  It looks, as if in this history, Portugal was overcome by the "Arabes" and Spain never even attempted to launch the Reconquista.  History and Geography, especially Political Geography are very closely linked with one another.  

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 27, 2015 5:00 PM

I found this particularly interesting to read about, as alternative histories fascinate me. The "what if" questions that historians always ask themselves are fun to examine and illustrate, as they are shown in the alternative map of Africa. It's interesting to see just how different this map- drawn from historical accounts of ethnic and linguistic differences between the various African societies- is from the map of Africa we now have today. European colonizers drew borders without any consideration for the native populace, and that is today reflected in the rigid borders of African states that do not match historical ethnic boundaries. The concept of a Europe unable to recover from the Black Death would have serious repercussions for world history. It would allow for the progression of African economies and polities unmolested by European influences and the slave trade, completely reshaping the course of the continent's history. The increased influence of the Arab world would also be a plausible consequence of the decimation of Europe's population. This is an interesting concept, and it is very informative in the sense that it forces us to consider a multitude of factors that played a role in shaping the world as we see and live it today.

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, October 30, 2015 7:04 AM

Alternative history is always fun. There is no question that Africa would be a different place today, if Europeans had never step foot on the shores of this great continent. Would the great African empires still be alive today? Would Africa be the dominant continent in world affairs? The history of civilization over the past 500 years would almost certainly be radically different. Instead of a Eurocentric world, we may have had an Afrocentric world. What this map really underscores, is the effect that colonialism had on Africa. The Africa we know today is a consequence of that era of European domination. While alternate history is fun, we must always remember the actual history that has occurred in Africa.

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African borders

African borders | NGOs in Human Rights, Peace and Development | Scoop.it

"About the history of the creation of Africa borders and debates about African borders."


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MsPerry's curator insight, August 12, 2014 7:50 PM

APHG-U4

David Lizotte's curator insight, April 14, 2015 9:45 PM

In all honesty, the history of Africa intrigues me. I've always tried to expand my knowledge on the subject as well as stay current with its modern affairs (as best as possible). I have had the pleasure of studying abroad in South Africa for a semester as well as taking courses focusing on the vast continent throughout my career as a RIC student. 

Ancient Africa is a topic I know more about than the average person. It's slavery and the effects it had on the realm, followed by Colonialism/Post Colonialism that I like to take pride in knowing best. I've taken different courses focusing on the matter and have done my fair share of research for pleasure. However, I still have a lot more research to do because I have so many thoughts, questions, and comments  (before making a comment on a particular subject I like to research it in depth) to make. 

I have the desire to pursue an education focusing on "Africa" and its colonial aspects. I feel like I would pursue a solid topic of high interest-perhaps even importance- to me and research the dickens out of it. I would prefer it to be an original piece though. Not a blunt history of colonial rule in Africa, whether it be specific or broad. I do not want to reiterate what others have already side. I want to create my own theories on Africa. 

Currently I am quite interested in "Post-Colonial" Africa and the fact that I find this term to be exotic, foreign, and even a facade. There are colonial aspects of Africa that have existed for decades and will continue to do so as long as Western and Eastern (China) "business" is "functioning." "Business" is broad yet it is being used here to describe the basic global economy, producers and consumers thus a subsequent supply and demand. Now, what does the term "functioning" mean? Well, to simply put it, business functions through Africa's exponential amount of natural resources, cheap labor, and corrupt officials. Most of the civilized world benefits from Africa's numerable resources yet the vast majority of African's themselves do not enjoy such pleasures. This is a trend that has existed since the Portuguese appraised the Western Coast of the continent in the early fifteenth century. 

I understand that this basic premise may not be the first of its kind, in general. However, there are specific situations/conflicts that can be researched further towards developing a more unique body of work. If I do pursue a higher education in this area I plan on succeeding in producing a sound body of work that I am proud to put my name on. It would be neat to teach the significance of the three maps displayed in this scoop.it article. 

Emily Coats's curator insight, May 27, 2015 10:20 AM

UNIT 4 POLITICAL 

This article shows many maps depicting the history and creation of African borders, as well as the impact of colonialism on Africa. This shows where different groups resided, and how borders were not properly made to fit one single nation, but mixed together many nations in one region.These maps are extremely useful when trying to learn more about Africa and its history, specifically its boundaries.