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Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea

Digging In: Land Reclamation and Defenses in the South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The U.S. Department of Defense’s latest assessment of the Chinese military provided new detail on China’s land reclamation efforts on several of the islets that it occupies in the South China Sea. These include Fiery Cross Reef, Gaven Reef, Johnson South Reef, Mischief Reef, and Subi Reef in the Spratly archipelago. By December 2014, the report estimated that China had reclaimed as much as 500 acres of new land, creating full-fledged islands where only coral reefs or sand spits existed before. Since then, China has only accelerated its efforts, expanding the total land area that it has reclaimed to 2,000 acres and building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip on the islands.
Seth Dixon's insight:

We've heard in the news recently that China is reclaiming land from the South China see to presumably construct an air strip to strengthen their claims in the region.  China is not alone in this...


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Marc Meynardi's curator insight, May 13, 2015 1:49 AM

By doing so, China is not only digging land, but also preparing futur heavy discord. It's so strange : China critisize US hegemony and try to balance it. As result, China is having the same agressive attitude that US Bush era. Of course, not using bombs, but "pacifically" invading south China Sea.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, December 1, 2015 8:15 PM

I was wondering with the world being 80% ocean how much ocean can be transformed into land with these man made islands. Once again creating military strategic posts.

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What's the Yemen conflict really about?

What's the Yemen conflict really about? | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Is the conflict due to geographical rivalry, sectarian divisions, disappointment after the 2011 revolution or is it part of a wider regional power play?
Seth Dixon's insight:

Saudi Arabia has recently announced that they stop their 4 week long bombing campaign against a rebel group in Yemen.  Like many complex geopolitical conflict, it is hard for students to begin to understand what the fighting is really about, but this article is a solid introduction to the Yemen conflict


Tags: Yemen, political, conflict.

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Luis Cesar Nunes's curator insight, April 24, 2015 12:42 PM

Something we should know about another insane conflict in which the United States became involved to worsen an already difficult situation

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 5:36 PM

In 2011, it is told that people from all religion would gather together in the town square, to eat from the same plate, pray for peace together and learn in the same schools; they were not separated by religion. Now Houthis changed from victims, to armed militia. Those who would've given their life back in 2011 for the sake of a better future would not be so willing now due to the fact they would only be collateral damage. 

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China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island'

China 'building runway in disputed South China Sea island' | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Satellite images show China is making progress on building an airstrip on a reef in disputed territory in the South China Sea, a report says.
Seth Dixon's insight:

So that's what they are up to...hmmmm.  A clearer, more detailed image can be seen here.


Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.


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Jared Medeiros's curator insight, April 22, 2015 7:02 PM

This is always amazing to me when countries create these islands in the middle of the sea.  I remember when Dubai was doing this a few years back thinking that something like this was crazy and would never keep up.  China is smart by doing this because it feels it can control the S. China Sea if they have areas set up all over it.  I can see why surrounding countries that share the Sea's borders are pissed off at China because they should not have more right's to the Sea than any of them.  But what are/can they do about it?  If you mess with China, you are asking for trouble.

Brian Wilk's curator insight, April 30, 2015 8:43 AM

My research paper is on China and I'm adding topical China stories to it. This is just another example in an endless procession of questionable land grabs by the Chinese. They should not be allowed to play poker, they are really bad at hiding what they really want. China wants to add land for a simple reason; extending their military reach so they can dominate the region. It pushes out their boundaries to enable them to strike their enemies with relative ease. Missiles that fly 400 miles, planes that need refueling after 300 miles are now strategically placed on these islands to form a sphere of commanding  influence in Asia and beyond. If they were to use it to extend their fishing rights to feed their burgeoning population that would be almost diplomatic. China bears watching....

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:22 PM

China has the wealth and power to unfortunately , do these things.  This is a concern to the US, but what can they do.  Vietnam may be upset as well as other countries, but China is the big dog in the South Sea.  

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One Place, Two Names

One Place, Two Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The government of the People’s Republic of China calls the country’s westernmost region Xinjiang, but the people who have lived there for centuries refer to their home as Eastern Turkistan. Many times when two groups do not refer to a place by the same name, it points to a cultural or political conflict, as is the case here.
Seth Dixon's insight:

Multiple names on the map can hint at bigger cultural and political fault lines.  Is it Londonderry or just Derry?  The Sea of Japan or the East Sea?  This article I wrote for the National Geographic Education Blog is on the always simmering tensions in the China's westernmost province.  


TagsCentral Asia, toponyms, culture, political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religionIslam, landscape.

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Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 7, 2015 12:51 PM

The region in North-west China where the indigenous people refer to home as Eastern Turkistan is being stripped by the Chinese government. They are banned from practicing their religion of Islam and cannot wear certain clothing that they are accustomed to. This is an example of History repeating itself, similarly to the United States government treating Native Americans and their way of life. Ultimately, it is important that the people of Eastern Turkistan has the right to practice in what they believed in, so that they do not lose their identity, culture and heritage.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:38 PM
Going by either the name Xinjiang or Eastern Turkistan, Sometimes when people cannot agree on the name of a single place there is conflict, but apparently not here. it became an economic hub after they extracted natural gas, oil, and coal. Because of its location, a lot of the people in the area are Turkish and are Muslim. The Chinese government does not really like this and they are doing what they can to get rid of the Muslim ways, for example, one thing they have done is denounce the hijab, or ban any religious displays. .
Martin Kemp's curator insight, December 17, 2015 3:45 PM

it seems that this a a recurring theme with china. disputed lands surround this country inside and out, they claim to own all of it as well. but when the people that live their claim to be independent and choose not to associate themselves with you than it creates and interesting dynamic.

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China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea

China building 'great wall of sand' in South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The scale of China's land reclamation in the South China Sea is leading to "serious questions" on its intentions, a top US official says.


China is building artificial land by pumping sand on to live coral reefs - some of them submerged - and paving over them with concrete. China has now created over 4sq/km (1.5 sq miles) of artificial landmass.  China is creating a great wall of sand with dredges and bulldozers over the course of months.


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

Seth Dixon's insight:

UPDATE: In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned." 

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PIRatE Lab's curator insight, April 3, 2015 10:45 AM

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."

Danielle Lip's curator insight, April 6, 2015 9:16 PM

Pumping in sand to cover coral reef and create more land is a very inventive way to make new territory, using concrete and placing bulldozers and other machinery is helping China gain more land and gain more access in the South China Sea yet this who pumping is making people question and causing places such as the Philippines to  file complaints saying they will not be associated with the whole plan that China has. Why is China exactly pumping sand and spreading concrete over the live coral reefs? Does China know they are killing live animals and plants underneath the sea? 

While looking into the matter I found that China believed the whole act of reclaiming land to be "entirely within China's sovereignty and are totally justifiable". Now people all over the world are focused on land and power, not about other social matters. This land pumping is not only causing conflict but it is creating more opportunity to better work and living conditions.

Bob Beaven's curator insight, April 16, 2015 2:41 PM

China is a large and powerful nation that is not afraid of flexing military muscle to its smaller neighbors.  The developments of China building artificial land to strengthen its claim in the region shows how determined the country is to have its claims honored.  It also shows that China will stop at nothing to have regions were resources could be to aid in the countries economic growth.  However, China is causing a great deal of controversy through its actions.  Also, China's neighbors are becoming increasingly frustrated with the large nation, yet they are all much smaller nations that really can't prevent the Chinese from doing what they want, especially with China declaring it won't listen to what the UN has to say.  China is a country that is not afraid of strongman politics to get what it wants.

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A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria

A bird's-eye view of war-torn Syria | Geography Education | Scoop.it
A school that lays in ruins, hospitals and refugee camps under attack, and a city center with the size of Manhattan destroyed by shelling — these are some of the shocking details of a new United Nations report on the conflict in Syria, four years after in began.


Tags: SyriaMiddleEast, conflict, political, remote sensing.

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Shane C Cook's curator insight, May 27, 2015 8:57 AM

Due to the current terror war in Syria, it has caused many people to flee to surrounding countries or countries where there is no terror and discrimination. This has caused them to be refugees or internally displaced persons.

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:42 PM

The stupidity of this whole thing is the reparations and its cost. Its the injury and death tolls during the conflicts followed by the high cost to rebuild. One must ask is the war or conflicts worth it.

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 7:20 PM

from the air the war looks like many historical photographs of bombings, and in this age of precision warfare it is somewhat disturbing that warfare can still look like this. this is a destruction of infrastructure on a scale unseen in the middle east since the Iran-Iraq war.

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9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask

9 questions about the Israel-Palestine conflict you were too embarrassed to ask | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Yes, one of the questions is "Why are Israelis and Palestinians fighting?"
Seth Dixon's insight:

There is no need to be embarrassed, since we all need to start somewhere.  This 2014 article provides some helpful context for students who don't know what's going on.   


Tags: Israel, Palestine, conflict, political, borders.

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Brian Wilk's curator insight, March 22, 2015 1:02 PM

This story of the Palestinians, Israel, Arabs, and Jews has its roots in Germany at the hands of one of the worst dictators the world has ever seen, Adolf Hitler. His ethnic cleansing of Jews via torture, the gas chamber, and starvation, is one of the bleakest times in recorded humanity. The remaining Jews were a people without a land and so it was agreed that Israel would be formed to provide a safe haven. However the land has been disputed, fought over, and the borders changed so many times that it no longer resembles the initial attempt to provide a refuge for the Jews. Ironically, 700,000 Palestinians had been displaced initially and now number 7,000,000 according to the article; all of them designated as refugees. There is no solve for the problems between the Arabs, Jews, Palestinians and Israel as too much blood has been spilled, and forgiveness is a forgotten word. How do you apologize or forgive for generations of bloodshed, displaced families, borders that constantly change, and religions that contradict one another? I'm glad that I wake every day in the USA. We have our own issues to resolve, but nothing approaches the contradictions and paradoxes this area of the world must live with every day.

Claire Law's curator insight, April 26, 2015 2:07 AM

A good refresher for teachers and a start for students

Michael Amberg's curator insight, May 26, 2015 11:25 PM

Its interesting to see another side to the story and what barriers are now in place from the two opposing cultures.

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History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names

History of Lynchings in the South Documents Nearly 4,000 Names | Geography Education | Scoop.it
After compiling an inventory of 3,959 lynching victims in 12 Southern states from 1877 to 1950, the Equal Justice Initiative wants to erect markers and memorials on certain sites.


Tags: raceconflict, racism, historical, the Southlandscape.

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Recent Developments in the Ukraine Conflict

"Stratfor Military Analysts Paul Floyd and Sim Tack discuss how Russia's strategy will maintain options as violence in eastern Ukraine continues."


Tags: Ukraineconflict, geopoliticspolitical.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, February 9, 2015 9:12 AM

unit 4

 

Jared Medeiros's curator insight, February 18, 2015 6:15 PM

I cant believe the cease fire lasted all but 40 minutes!  Putin and Russia are a bunch of scumbags that are just looking for conflict.  As if Russia is not large enough that they have to scrap for these small areas of Ukraine.  Its going to be because of assholes like this that get other countries involved and many lives end up getting lost.  

Avery Liardon's curator insight, March 23, 2015 9:46 PM

Unit 4 :

Russia beginning to take violent actions against the Ukraine. It is interesting to view the military strategies that countries take, and to see the outcomes of these schemes. 

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7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014

7 awful conflicts that were under-reported in 2014 | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Sadly, there was plenty of mayhem and violence that didn't make newspaper frontpages. Here are some awful conflicts that merited more attention.


Tags: conflictLibya, Yemen, Assam (India), the Sudans, Nigeria, Pakistan, Somalia and Kenya

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, January 23, 2015 12:14 PM

Current events, course resource, could be applied to just about every unit!

Lena Minassian's curator insight, April 9, 2015 9:36 PM

This article struck me because of certain topics overshadowing really important ones. This talks about seven horrible conflicts and tragedies that have occurred that went unreported. These issues needed attention and media this day in age is focuses on unnecessary issues rather than discussing issues like these. One of the conflicts was in Pakistan. They experienced a terrorist attack on a school by the Taliban and many children were slaughtered and many of those children were the kids of military personnel. This has been an ongoing conflict and has even had numerous airstrikes involved. This terrorist outbreak has caused more problems and the fighting still continues. A second conflict is in Assam, India. This conflict has been a clash of between ethic groups. This conflict has gotten so bad, numerous people have left their homes and people have been massacred causing it to become a terrorist operation. Conflicts like these need our intention and there are way too many cases like this going unnoticed. 

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 3:05 PM

It is sad to see the state of Libya following the optimism that surrounded its revolution and the toppling of the dictatorship that had ran the nation for decades. Despite the high hopes of the West and the Libyans themselves, the nation has devolved into civil war between the coalition government and an alliance of former rebel groups and militant Islamic extremists. Violence has gripped the nation ever since, a sad story of an incomplete revolution that occurred without a plan set for the future. One must only look at the Benghazi attack to not that the hopes of the US to secure another ally in the region have turned out to be entirely unfounded, as the people remain divided. The lack of coverage of this story in Western media suggests that the story is perhaps too depressing for American audiences, or that the major news networks don't want to dwell on another failure of the US in its involvement in the region. I hope that the violence ceases soon, as there has been far too much bloodshed already for the Libyan people.

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Asian Border Disputes

Asian Border Disputes | Geography Education | Scoop.it

Tags: borders, political, conflict, infographic, map.

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Asie(s)'s curator insight, November 23, 2014 10:23 PM

A good overview on the matter!

Kevin Barker's curator insight, November 25, 2014 8:20 AM

A great primer for discussions over border disputes.  In this modern geopolitical climate, some of these claims can seem aggressive to say the least.  The strategies/responses can also be very interesting when military options are put aside.

Jake Red Dorman's curator insight, November 25, 2014 12:36 PM

I was looking at the disputes between the Paracel Islands, the Spratly Islands, and the Scarborough Shoal. What I notices with all oft he disputes, the land being fought over is all claimed by China but the land location itself is all closer to the country china is disputing it over. For the Paracel Islands, China and Vietnam are in dispute especially after China put 2 oil rigs by their land. The other dispute between the Spratly Islands, China and the Philippines each claim entire ownership of the lands but Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei all claim some part of the islands as well. For the Scarborough Shoal, it is a lot closer to the Philippines than it is to China but China claims it as their own since they discovered the land. Now china has restricted access to the island following a standoff.    

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The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests

The Political Geography of Hong Kong's Protests | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The territory's residents are demanding democracy in city intersections, not central squares.


The significance of the protests, which have brought tens of thousands into the streets, lies not only in what protesters are demanding but also in where they're demanding it—and where they're not. Consider that pro-democracy demonstrations in Hong Kong typically happen in Victoria Park, which is about two and a half miles from Central District and which hosts the annual June 4 candlelight vigil commemorating the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in Beijing. This time around, however, few police or protesters have ventured there.

The unpredictable, spontaneous geography of the protests is important precisely because it transcends the status quo. It is a testament to how serious these demonstrations are that they refuse to be contained.

Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Morgan Manier's curator insight, April 24, 2017 5:20 PM
This article relates to our class by people protesting and with our projects, people in Syria protested and were punished and this relates to political geography. My opinion is that people should be acknowledged with why they are protesting and where they are doing it, also how it affects everyone else. 
Colby Geiger's curator insight, April 28, 2017 7:25 AM
This article relates to political geography because the protestors of Japan are protesting to shut down the cities main shopping center where the government buildings are. The people of Japan want democracy and I believe that they should have it. To me, democracy is a fair way for the people of a country to choose a ruler and have everybody heard for their opinions.
Kobie Carroll's curator insight, April 28, 2017 11:44 AM
I believe the OCLP (Occupy Central with Love and Peace) campaign had good intentions, wanting to build a truly harmonious society. I, however, believe they made a wrong decision to shut down Hong Kong's Central District. This relates to what we are learning because it shows how individuals with conflicting views can express hate towards each other in one geographical area.
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Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Tensions escalated on Sunday when the broader Occupy Central protest movement threw its weight behind student-led protests, bringing forward a mass civil disobedience campaign due to start on Wednesday.  China's leaders must be sitting uncomfortably in Beijing.

As long as the protests continue, there is a chance they will spread to the mainland, where many are unhappy with one-party rule.  But if the protesters hold their ground, how far will Beijing allow events to spiral before getting directly involved?"

Seth Dixon's insight:

Hong Kong is probably the only place under the control of the People's Republic of China (PRC) where protests of this type against the government could have started.  Hong Kong, once administered by the UK, was turned over to the PRC, but with special conditions that grant Hong Kong residents greater freedoms than those available the rest of the citizens of mainland China (One China, two systems).  Hong Kong students are protesting for full universal suffrage and for the right to choose their own candidates--something that Beijing is not willing to concede; some autonomy yes, power to make further breaks with Beijing?  No.  In addition to political control, some students feel economically marginalized by Beijing's policies.  In 1997, when Hong Kong became a part of the PRC, it represented 18% of the GDP of the country; today it is only 3% of the PRC's economic output.  The Chinese govt. is currently blocking Instagram, trying to prevent the spread of viral images that show discontent.  Still have questions?  You are not the only one as the world turns it's gaze to China wondering about the strength of the Communist Party and the collective will of the protestors. 


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia.

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Nevermore Sithole's curator insight, October 6, 2014 5:42 AM

Protesters defiant amid Hong Kong stand-off

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:36 PM

Seeing all of these protesters laying across the highway caught my interest.  These people are serious about what they want with their elections and it is not have their candidates picked out for them.  People are taking over roads, shopping malls, schools, whereever they can go to prove their point.  They know that the amount of police forces is not enough to stop them.  Although for the most part other countries are staying out of the business of China Britain is supporting the protests as long as they stay within the rules of protesting.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, October 6, 2014 3:42 PM

It will definitely be interesting to see how far this political protest goes and how far the Chinese Government will go to stop this. China in some ways is a victim of its own success, in the past China would have been able to simply throw its military might on the political dissidents and silence all opposition but how possible is that today? Now China is a global economic power and the Western World's view on China matters, not wanting to risk trade problems China is showing far more caution this time around. While China is reaping the rewards of its world position without doubt China is also missing some of the benefits of the Bamboo Curtain.

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It wasn’t just the Armenians: The other 20th century massacres we ignore

It wasn’t just the Armenians: The other 20th century massacres we ignore | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"Last week marked the 100th anniversary of the killings of more than a million Armenians during the dying days of the Ottoman Empire. Despite considerable opposition from the Turkish government, the anniversary is bringing renewed attention to an often overlooked historical issue, with President Obama in particular facing criticism for not using the word 'genocide' to describe the killings. The 20th century was bloody and violent, and while some horrors are at least relatively well-known – the Holocaust or the genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia, for example – others have become mere footnotes in history."


Tags genocidepolitical, conflict, war, refugees, empirecolonialism, historical.

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Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, April 28, 2015 9:48 AM

units 2,and four :(

Padriag John-David Mahoney's curator insight, April 28, 2015 6:18 PM

I have often thought about this. The Armenian genocide was the first genocide of the 20th century, but was largely forgotten. Very few- VERY FEW- American students learn about it before college or high school. What do we learn about? The only genocide I remember being taught in school was the Holocaust- the Jewish Genocide at the hands of Nazi Germany. But there was also the genocide and apartheid in Rwanda and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. My father taught me all about all of these genocides. There is a statue outside Auschwitz concentration camp with the inscription "Never Again". But what have the many organizations done to prevent or reveal such atrocities? I don't see the Shoah foundation standing up for the Armenians now, or the victims of the Cambodian or Rwandan genocides. I believe the inscription on that statue truly means ''Never again.........to the Jews''

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South Africa xenophobic attacks: How did we get here?

South Africa xenophobic attacks: How did we get here? | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"As attacks against foreigners and their businesses rage on, killing at least six people this week, other nations in the continent are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from South Africa. But this is not the first time xenophobic violence has exploded in a country that tries to portray itself as a diverse 'rainbow' nation.

What triggered this week's attacks? They started after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said at a recent gathering that foreigners 'should pack their bags and go' because they are taking jobs from citizens, local media reported. Shortly after his comments, violence against immigrants erupted in the port city of Durban."


Tags: South Africa, Africa, conflictracismethnicity, migration.

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Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 7:07 PM

This was an interesting article to read, because it deals with a topic that I know almost nothing about. While I am, of course, familiar with the larger idea of xenophobia, I did not know that it is such a persistent and violent problem in South Africa. It seems that citizens of South Africa are concerned about their jobs being taken by immigrants and local businesses being undermined by foreign owned businesses. Immigrants have also been blamed for increased crime and poverty rates. 

 

This article just goes to show that regardless of time or geographic location, xenophobia will always exist and for the same reasons. Most Americans will remember how hot button an issue immigration was in the early 2000s. U.S. citizens were concerned that immigrants from Mexico and South and Central America were flooding into the country in alarmingly high numbers and were poised to take jobs away from Americans. This atmosphere seems to be echoed in South Africa and the attacks that have occurred there as a result of xenophobia. This is especially significant in a country where xenophobic tensions have shaped politics and social relations for so long. Unfortunately, South Africa just seems to be yet another link in the continuing trend of xenophobia that continues to occur across the globe. 

Benjamin Jackson's curator insight, December 13, 2015 5:30 PM

South Africa has always had major issues with race and ethnicity, especially in recent years. this has continued to get worse and worse, and it must be hoped that eventually the situation will be sorted out.

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The Armenian Genocide-100 years

The Armenian Genocide-100 years | Geography Education | Scoop.it

“For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter you know next to nothing about. But every year on April 24, Genocide Remembrance Day, we Armenians remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors.”

Seth Dixon's insight:

2.5 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire--1.5 million were killed. Not just killed, but horrifically slaughtered--beheaded, crucified, burned alive in their churches, loaded like cattle onto freight trains and sent to concentration camps, raped, assaulted, sold as slaves, herded into the DerAzor desert and left to die.  

The United Nations recognizes the massacres and the systematic destruction of two-thirds of the Armenian population as the first genocide of the 20th century, and has stated that the mishandling of its aftermath set the stage for future genocides, from the Holocaust to Rwanda and Sudan and everything in between. Hitler studied what happened and borrowed many of the Ottoman Empire’s techniques to use against the Jews.

And even though some countries in the world recognize and agree with the UN assessment of the fact, Turkey denies it, and the US still stands silent and refuses to officially state that what happened was genocide...because to do so would offend Turkey, and Turkey is a US political ally.  Many are calling on Israel, a country founded in large part because of a genocide, to acknowledge the first genocide of the 20th century.   

Learn about genocide and teach genocide--what causes it, what perpetuates it, what the cost of denial can be. Don’t remain silent. Be a peaceful person in your own life, and in all your relations with others--and speak up about any wrong or injustice. 

*Most of this post is courtesy of Janet Rith-Najarian, professional geographer and member of the Minnesota Alliance for Geographic Education.


TagsArmenia, genocidepolitical, conflict, Turkey, war, refugees, empirecolonialism, historical.

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Maricarmen Husson's curator insight, April 17, 2015 7:37 PM

A 100 AÑOS DEL GENOCIDIO ARMENIO

Cada año el 24 de abril, día de la conmemoración del Genocidio, nosotros los armenios recordamos la injusticia de un crimen que rara vez se reconoció y a menudo negó rotundamente.

Era el 24 de abril de 1915, cuando los intelectuales armenios, profesionales, editores y líderes religiosos de Constantinopla fueron detenidos por las autoridades otomanas - y casi todos ellos ejecutados. Durante la Primera Guerra Mundial, el Imperio Otomano mató a tres de cada cuatro de sus ciudadanos armenios. La mayoría de los armenios vivos hoy son descendientes de los pocos sobrevivientes ".

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, May 1, 2015 4:17 PM

I have to be honest, I never knew we had a Genocide Remembrance Day.  As I get older, there seems to be a day for everything.  This is a horrific act.  Unfortunately, as we've seen historically many countries have tried this.  There is never a good outcome.  It's atrocious that we could ever standby and not do something.  

Eden Eaves's curator insight, May 24, 2015 6:24 PM

Unit 3

For most of the world, the Armenian Genocide is the slaughter we know almost nothing about. But every year on April 24,Genocide Remembrance Day, Armenians all over the world remember the injustice of a crime that is rarely acknowledged and often flatly denied. It was April 24, 1915, when the Armenian intellectuals, professionals, editors and religious leaders in Constantinople were rounded up by the Ottoman authorities — and almost all of them executed. During World War I, the Ottoman Empire killed three of every four of its Armenian citizens. The majority of Armenians alive today are descendants of the few survivors

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New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea

New Images Show China Literally Gaining Ground in South China Sea | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Satellite photos show the speed, scale and ambition China has exerted to assert ownership over South China Sea islands, far from the mainland.
Seth Dixon's insight:

In addition to the original BBC article, here is another article from the Telegraph with some aerial imagery showing the extent of this geo-engineering project.  This has plenty of geopolitical implications and the United States government is on record saying that it is "concerned."


Questions to Ponder:  Why is China building up this island?  What advantage would that give them?  Why aren't other countries with competing claims stopping China?


Tags: borders, political, conflict, waterChina, East Asia.

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Marc Meynardi's curator insight, April 13, 2015 2:40 AM

Suprisingly, the other countries dont show a lot of concerns.

Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 15, 2015 10:06 PM

China is a powerful country with a population of 1.357 billion people. China as a regional hegemony, the more land means expansion of territorial control on the region and projecting sea power on international waters. However the main reason why China, the Philippines, and other countries are trying to claim these islands is due to the oil and natural gas exploitation in the South China Sea. Even when geopolitical conflicts between Philippines and other countries arise, any of these countries will have to form powerful armies in order to fight against China. The U.S. would be the only country that could pursue different strategies and mediate agreements between China’s neighbors. However, through military intimidation, China would overpower any country that tried to claim these islands as part of their territory. 

Lora Tortolani's curator insight, April 20, 2015 1:37 PM

China has its hopes on securing the land that is rich in oil to bring prosperity to the country.  China is building a great wall of sand and seems as though they are not fearful of others stopping it even though China has been warned that these actions create tension from Taiwan, the Philippines, and Vietnam.  

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Syrian Journey: Choose your own route

Syrian Journey: Choose your own route | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Put yourself in the shoes of a Syrian migrant and see whether you could make the right choices on the journey to Europe.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This BBC interactive tries to get the user to empathize with the plight and the geographic circumstances of Syrian refugees that are fleeing a land a strife.  The choices are not easy and there is no certain path.  This is an interesting interactive that is designed to build geographic empathy.


Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

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Norka McAlister's curator insight, April 5, 2015 8:01 PM

Citizens of Syria have experienced difficult times since their country entered into a period of continual war in the past few decades. People migrate to Europe in demand of better life for their families. All begin with a plan and a &helper,&  called trafficker or coyote in Mexico, and money to cross few borders and be able to live life free from war. Although, with countries such as Egypt, Lybia, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece, with a massive migrations, tough economies, lack of jobs, nothing and no one is safe. However, Europe is very attractive in terms of quality life and safety to raise families. Furthermore, to be able to survive during this migration transition, many risks are involved and even in some cases, killings. Immigrants migrate by boat, truck, train, and sometimes even walking. Day or night immigrants keep moving and pay  high prices to be transported to the next point. It takes them weeks, months, and even years to reach thier final destinations. This is the same for those immigrants in Mexico and U.S. 

Claire Law's curator insight, April 25, 2015 8:41 PM

UK interactive resource to put students in the shoes of refugees fleeing conflict

zane alan berger's curator insight, May 26, 2015 4:42 PM

this is a virtual stimulator showing the struggle of a Syrian migrant, proving that one risky decision can be detrimental for these people. this can be related to the migration unit

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Our Blessed Homeland

Our Blessed Homeland | Geography Education | Scoop.it


Seth Dixon's insight:

One of the main reasons I wrote this article for National Geographic about how to teach cultural empathy is nicely conveyed in the cartoon above--in spite of our cultural differences, I want people to see themselves in others.  This is reminiscent to this New Yorker cartoon on the why there should not be religious conflicts in the world.  


Tags: conflictracismreligion, perspective.

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Evan Margiotta's curator insight, March 19, 2015 3:45 PM

How we view each other is often incredibly rash. This cartoon displays this very well. Other cultures often seems as alien as other species. However if one looks closely they can find many similarities in their cultures. This misunderstanding of culture has been at the root of many disputes and the understanding of culture has been the road to understanding  and peace. Unit 3 Culture

Michael Amberg's curator insight, March 22, 2015 2:24 PM

This picture definitely sums up almost all the wars in history, how one side is right, and one side is wrong, but according to the two sides the enemy is the one who is evil.

Paul Farias's curator insight, April 9, 2015 12:55 PM

This is great because we are taught historically what our side sees. For instance, when Britain was fighting us they saw us a rebelious bunch, and we saw them as tyrannical. Now this is where we need to see we need a fair 

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Can these satellite images save lives? The U.N. thinks so

Can these satellite images save lives? The U.N. thinks so | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Stunning images taken from space put the world's crises into context.


U.N. satellite imagery has tracked the evolution of the camp since its creation. The exponential growth is remarkable.  The refugee camp is rapidly taking the shape of a real city — structured, planned and even separated into neighborhoods and subject to gentrification.


Tags: refugees, migration, conflict, political, warsquatter, urban, unit 7 cities, remote sensing, geospatial. 


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tom cockburn's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:13 AM

Raises a number of serious questions.Not only about the middle East but about habitation,cultural development and resource distribution and deployment inequalities

Norka McAlister's curator insight, March 15, 2015 8:00 PM

I definitely think that it would. It is impressive to see how a urban planning affected the land designed by the refuges. Within a few years through satellite imaging, we can witness and appreciate how  the Zaatarie refugee campus went from a few refugees to a total urbanized area receiving and distributed more than 85,000 refuges in the area. Urban planning plays a big role in regards to how display all populations. However, we have to take in consideration that when a massive population in one area is displayed, urban area is also relevant in terms of disciplines, public healthy, collaboration to live under a community rules. On other hand, natural disasters and destruction by war can wipe out entire cities within seconds. The satellite images were able to show the destruction that took place in the Syrian city of Hamas after natural diasters devastated the region and the wartorn afternmath of Gaza city. Natural disasters and war trigger a massive migration of refugees in search for better a life and opportunity.

Max Minard's curator insight, March 21, 2015 9:26 PM

This report refers to the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan which is experiencing rapid growth in population with 85,000 citizens and is even starting to look as a "city built form scratch". The reason geographers think that satellite imagery can save refugee lives is because it allows them to view areas of the camp in which they are unable to reach on ground. This information will help health workers pinpoint these certain hidden areas and tend to the people who are there. This use of satellite imagery centers around the camps rapid growth in population, making it quite a challenge to scale on ground. 

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High Security Borders

High Security Borders | Geography Education | Scoop.it
Accelerated through the fear from the attacks of 9/11 and all what followed, the so called ‘Western Society’ is constructing the greatest wall ever build on this planet. On different building sites on all five inhabitable continents, walls, fences and high-tech border surveillance are under construction in order to secure the citizens and their high quality of life within this system. The fall of the Berlin Wall was described as the historical moment that marks the demolition of world’s last barrier between nation states. Yet it took the European Union only six years to create with the Schengen Agreement in 1995 a new division only 80km offset to the east of Berlin.
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows that hi-tech political surveillance of borders is highly correlated with the core areas of the global economy and some of the most attractive immigrant destinations. 


Questions to Ponder: What else do you see in this map?  What does this say about the world order?  Are there patterns that this map reveals/conceals?    


Tagsconflicteconomic, political, geopolitics, migration, map.

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Miles Gibson's curator insight, February 13, 2015 11:04 AM

Unit 4 political geography 

This article explains how the world is filled with division and segregation. Some of the most notable are the walls are the wall in berlin, the wall/border/river/fence between the u.s. and mexico and the border between north and south Korea is the most notable walls.

This article relates to unit 4 because it shows how people, through borders, have divided them through history creating new politics, culture and borders themselves. The political processes involved can change the policies and shapes of nations in the world.

Monika Fleischmann's curator insight, February 15, 2015 4:48 AM
Seth Dixon's insight:

This map shows that hi-tech political surveillance of borders is highly correlated with the core areas of the global economy and some of the most attractive immigrant destinations.  

 

Questions to Ponder: What else do you see in this map?  What does this say about the world order?  Are there patterns that this map reveals/conceals?   


tom cockburn's curator insight, February 27, 2015 5:19 AM

More than simple  'culture clash' or  'politics of fear' etc

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The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang

The colourful propaganda of Xinjiang | Geography Education | Scoop.it

"China is in the midst of a crackdown on what it describes as 'terrorism driven by religious extremism'. The campaign is focused on the western province of Xinjiang, home to China's Uighur ethnic minority who are predominantly Muslim."

Seth Dixon's insight:

China does not have a good track record of dealing with ethnic and religious minorities and the murals that can be seen in Xinjiang are a testament to that fact.  This has led to many Muslims in Western China being attracted to more radical ideas.  While I certainly don't condone radicalism nor China's heavy-handed tactics, I am fascinated by the cultural messages that are strategically being placed in the landscape to influence the politics and culture of the region.  


Tags: political, conflictgovernance, China, East Asia, religion, culture, Islam, landscape.

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Kendra King's curator insight, April 3, 2015 7:37 PM

This art seems like a logical extension of the government’s use of power although I personally don’t agree with their abuse of power. In China the government will uses its authority to monitor the personal activities of its citizens as demonstrated by the pictures dictating what people should and shouldn’t wear. When the citizens don’t follow through with China’s rule, violence typically happens. In fact, a fair deal of the paintings showed violence (i.e. the tank running people over). I actually find those depictions more offensive and disturbing than any of the other pictures because the end result is clearly that of dath rather than disapproval. Now, I understand that some places need to be ruled with an iron fist (i.e. Iraq), however I don’t really see how threatening people with more violence solves the issue of extremism. If anything, doesn’t this just give the extremist more of a reason to dislike the government? As such, is the government just creating more resentment that will lead to demonstrations in the future? I say this because eventually when a local population is subject to such horrible treatment, there isn't much else to lose and very little reason no to fight back. 

Tanya Townsend's curator insight, November 16, 2015 9:20 PM

This article has great insight on the way government influences popular belief. We have seen these many times in American society also when government was afraid of communism during the cold war for instance. Often we have prejudgements or beliefs and we are not sure where they even stem from. Pushed Propaganda can be very influential over the mass population, in instilling certain beliefs.

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 8:45 PM
The point the Chinese are trying to make is that the Muslim people are bad, they do unacceptable things and it needs to be taken care of. They are making it hard for a couple to get married and if they do it is with special permission. They even banned anyone under the age of 18 to enter a mosque. Praying in Xinjiang is highly regulated and comes with strict rules and consequences. In all their propaganda you can see how they represent getting rid of the muslims because they are wearing black. If you ask me, it seems like the government is doing this because they are afraid of being taken over and losing the area, just like we used to use propaganda in the wars.
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U.S. and Cuba's Rocky Relations

"President Obama announced on December 17 that the United States will resume diplomatic relations with Cuba after more than 50 years of antagonism. Bloomberg's Sam Grobart recaps the standoff between the two nations, and explains why the icy relationship has begun to thaw."

Seth Dixon's insight:

By now I'm sure you've heard the news that the United States is seeking to normalize relations with Cuba and politicians are reacting to this news in diverse ways.  Some see this as a way for the United States to stick it to Russia (which is going through it's on troubles--more on that in the future). This video gives a quick rundown of the history of Cold War tensions between these two neighbors.   


Tags: Cuba, conflict, political, geopolitics.

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Felix Ramos Jr.'s curator insight, February 10, 2015 12:13 PM

The causes of the issues between the two countries, most surely, can be traced to both sides.  Millions of people have been affected by the hostile relationship.  A relationship that has been at a standstill for decades.  I have always looked at this dynamic as defying logic and common sense.  Without taking sides, one could look at the last half a century from afar, and conclude that it was ultimately a big waste of time and something that probably could have either been avoided altogether or ended a long time ago if it weren't for stubbornness on both sides.  Finally, we are starting to see the construction of the "light at the end of the tunnel", per say.

Kristin Mandsager San Bento's curator insight, March 1, 2015 10:10 PM

I'm amazed that we have had no relations with Cuba for so long.  All it took was one man-Castro-to keep the separation going for so long.  It is time to let go.  Besides, if you were really worried about another country wouldn't you want to have some sort of diplomatic relationship so you could keep a close eye?

Mark Hathaway's curator insight, September 24, 2015 5:54 AM

The Presidents decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba set off some controversy in the United States. Some Republicans, such as Florida senator Marco Rubio were quite critical of the Presidents new policy. Overall I was surprised at how little controversy erupted from the move. The Cuban community in the United States was divided on the issue. Older Cubans, many of whom fled Cuba after the Castro revolution in 1959 opposed the move. Younger Cubans generally feel that it is time to try a  new approach toward the communist nation. Our policy of isolating Cuba has not led to the desired regime change that many had hoped for. If anything it has hurt the innocent citizens of Cuba more than the Castro brothers. They are the ones who have suffered the effects of economic embargos. History will judge the Presidents move to normalize relations. For the sake of the Cuban people, lets hope that this new policy will finally result in a free democratic Cuba.

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Too rich for its own good

Too rich for its own good | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The Democratic Republic of Congo is potentially one of the richest countries on earth, but colonialism, slavery and corruption have turned it into one of the poorest
Seth Dixon's insight:

One thing that baffles many students is how a resource-rich region can be an area of underdevelopment and poverty.  Understanding the historical geography is key for students being able to see that natural wealth does not correlate to enriching the local population.  Kinshasa, the capital that seemed so promising as the site of the famous "Rumble in the Jungle between Ali and Frazier, is now a city of chaos.  


Tags: Congo, political, conflict, resourcespolitical ecology, Africa.

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Jacob Conklin's curator insight, May 6, 2015 1:04 PM

Geography talks a lot about the impact of globalization and imperialism. One of the best examples of this is found in The Democratic Republic of Congo. For its entire history, imperialist nations have sought out this country's resources and were not hesitant to exploit the population to accomplish this end. On of the great ironies in globalization is that the countries richest in resources are the most exploited. Take to the extreme as in Congo, the economy is so crushed that there is no way for the country to recover. 

Gene Gagne's curator insight, November 4, 2015 4:09 PM

Its all about greed. If people only had the respect for each other then with all the natural resources on earth we all could live comfortably.

Kevin Nguyen's curator insight, December 14, 2015 12:40 PM

It's a shame to know that there's a country of hopelessness out there with a potential to be a great one. The long term causes of colonialism had a huge impact on their development as a modern country. They were once a great empire but was diminished down to nothing by the European. Hopefully there will light to the darkness of Congo in the near future.

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Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution

Hong Kong’s umbrella revolution | Geography Education | Scoop.it
The story behind the Hong Kong pro-democracy protests
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Giselle Figueroa's curator insight, October 8, 2014 2:52 PM

What caught my attention was the name that this protest has ("umbrella revolution”). After investigating I could find why this protest has that name, the reason is  because the people who are protesting  used umbrellas to protect themselves from tear gas.The Occupy Central movement ( which is  a civil disobedience campaign initiated by Benny Tai Yiu-ting, Associate Professor of Law at the University of Hong Kong , and advocated by Occupy Central with Love and Peace) threatens to block financial and commercial center of Hong Kong if their demands are neglected: the resignation of the Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying and the possibility of holding truly democratic elections in 2017. If none of the parties can agree I think there will be any solution for both parties and this will continue.

Edelin Espino's curator insight, October 10, 2014 2:56 PM

The umbrella revolution in Hong Kong is simply that Protestants are using all kind of tools to block the tear gas that the police are pulling them. Protests in Hong Kong are to change some of the rules that Beijing has also want Leung Chun-ying resign his position. The vast majority of the protesters are young and who began the protests were also young people who are fighting for the good of their city.