Search

GEOGRAPHY EDUCATION

Supporting geography educators everywhere with current digital resources.

Tag

Africa

Music and Resistance

“Life imitated art in early 1980 when South African school children, fed up with an inferior apartheid-era education system, took to chanting the lyrics of Pink Floyd‘s ‘Another Brick in the Wall.’ The song, with its memorable line stating, “We don’t need no education,” had held the top spot on the local charts for almost three months, a total of seven weeks longer than it did in America. By May 2, 1980, the South African government had issued a ban on ‘Another Brick in the Wall,’ creating international headlines.”

Source: www.youtube.com

How a song about rigid school rules in England became banned in South Africa is a fantastic lesson in cultural diffusion and glocalization (where the global becomes intensely local).  Here we see an historical example of a global cultural phenomenon taking on local political dimensions.  If you are interested in teaching more about the social and historical content of music, check out TeachRock.org.      

 

Questions to Ponder: Why would this song resonate in South Africa?  How might the video/lyrics map onto the South African situation? 

 

Tags culturediffusion, globalization, popular culture, South AfricaAfrica, music.

DR Congo election: 17 dead in anti-Kabila protests

Three police officers and 14 civilians die in Kinshasa, capital of DR Congo, during protests calling for President Joseph Kabila to step down.

Source: www.bbc.com

The DRC is a land of great wealth but is impoverished.  This may seem strange to outsiders but the weakness of their social institutions pays a key role in keeping the economy from reaching it’s potential.  Strong institutions matter more than resources for sustained economic development. The most important line in the article was the last one: “DR Congo has never had a smooth transfer of power since independence more than 55 years ago.”  That is a staggering historical burden.  

 

Tags: Congo, political, conflict, Africa.

Africa’s Charcoal Economy Is Cooking. The Trees Are Paying.

In Madagascar, the booming charcoal business is contributing to deforestation and may exacerbate the effects of global warming.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Deforestation does not happen in a vacuum–it occurs in an economic, political, and historical context.  Rural Africans have less access to high value commodities and converting forests into charcoal is one of the few options (similar to the issue in Haiti).  The short-term economic gain for a few individuals leads to long-term environmental problems such as soil erosion, flooding, and habitat destruction for many species.  

 

Tags: biogeography, environmentecology, poverty, development, economic, labor, Madagascar, erosionAfrica, resourcespolitical ecology.

Aerial Photos Show how Apartheid Still Shapes South African Cities

An American used drones to capture the color lines still stark in South African cities.

Source: www.citylab.com

In some respects this isn’t surprising, but it is still striking to see how stark the differences are.  One generation of political change does not reverse generations of systemic racism that have had economic, cultural, and political impacts.  Many of the urban planning decisions were based on apartheid, and that historical legacy is still embedded landscape.

 

Tags: South Africa, images, Africarace, ethnicityneighborhood, urban, planning, images, remote sensing.

Projected Religious Population Changes in Sub-Saharan Africa

“The total population in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to grow at a faster pace than in any other region in the decades ahead, more than doubling from 823 million in 2010 to 1.9 billion in 2050. As a result, the two dominant religions in the region – Christianity and Islam – both are expected to have more than twice as many adherents in 2050 as in 2010.”

Source: www.pewforum.org

Sub-Saharan Africa is one of the poorest regions of the world. While the economy is growing, the rate at which poverty is falling is less than the population growth rate.  Nearly all of the population growth in Africa between now and 2050 is expected to occur in Sub-Saharan Africa.  As the population grows, the religious dynamics of Sub-Saharan Africa will change.  The share of residents practicing Christianity, the majority religion of the region, is expected to decline from 2010 to 2050 while the share of Muslims is expected to increase in the same time frame.  The changes in religious demographics is occurring alongside the region’s youth bulge (click here for a population pyramid).  Understanding religious demographics is key to understanding the challenges faced by the African people.   

 

Question to Ponder: What impact are the region’s two fastest-growing religions having on Sub-Saharan Africa’s overall fertility rate?    

 

Tagsreligionpopulation, ChristianityIslam, Africa.

Why Africa’s migrant crisis makes no sense to outsiders

“Violence and insecurity are so bad that other war-torn countries have become sites of refuge.”

 

In 2015, nearly 100,000 Ethiopians and Somalis traveled by boat to Yemen, one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Last year, nearly 5,000 citizens of Congo, which is fighting powerful rebel groups, were seeking refuge in the Central African Republic, itself torn apart by civil war. And yet 10,000 Burundians have fled their country’s own growing civil unrest for Congo. Thousands of Nigerians escaping the extremist Islamist group Boko Haram have gone to Chad, where different strains of that same insurgency conduct frequent deadly attacks. 

 

Developing countries have long taken in a disproportionate number of the world’s refugees — roughly 80 percent, according to the United Nations. But even for migration experts and relief workers, the willingness of refugees to leave one war for another is shocking. It’s also proving an enormous challenge for humanitarian agencies, which are already overstretched and often not equipped to welcome refugees in countries that are still racked by conflict.

 

Tags: refugeesAfrica, migration, conflict, political, war

Source: www.washingtonpost.com

The Danger of a Single Story

https://www.youtube.com/v/D9Ihs241zeg?fs=1&hl=fr_FR

Our lives, our cultures, are composed of many overlapping stories. Novelist Chimamanda Adichie tells the story of how she found her authentic cultural voice — and warns that if we hear only a single story about another person or country, we risk a critical misunderstanding.

Source: www.youtube.com

To gain a global perspective inherently requires understanding multiple perspectives.  Africa is frequently portrayed as ‘the other’ but also homogenized within a single narrative that ‘flattens’ truth.  How can we teach and learn about other places in a way that develops geographic empathy and shows the many stories of that can belong to any one place? 

Tags: Africa, perspective, TED.

Ethiopia’s Dam Problems

“Ethiopia is three years from completing a dam to control its headwaters, and while Egypt points to colonial-era treaties to claim the water and to stop the project, the question remains as to who own the Blue Nile.”

Source: maps101blog.com

This 7-minute Geography News Network podcast (written by Julie and Seth Dixon) touches on some key geographic concepts.  85% of the Nile’s water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands–it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located  near the border with Sudan.  Egypt is adamantly opposed to Ethiopia’s plan and is actively lobbying the international community to stop construction on the dam, fearing their water supply with be threatened. 

Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, energy, borders, political.

African borders

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

Source: mycontinent.co

Disregard the rough English grammar; this is a nice article to show some of the historical, ethnic, linguistic and political complexities behind African borders.  This would be a great supplemental article to help AP Human Geography students to prepare for Question 2 of the 2014 AP Human Geography Exam that focused on superimposed boundaries within an African context.  

TagsAPHG, language, Africa, colonialism, borders, political.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑