According to UNHCR, there are 70,8 million refugees in the world today. The biggest refugee camp is in Bangladesh and houses the approximately 630,000 Rohingyas who are considered one of the most persecuted people. A people with no future, little hope and a life in limbo.
In the “Ultimate Safari”, Nadine Gordimer tells a story of a group of people that has to flee because of war and conflict.
We have also heard about the people of West Sahara and their sufferings, being forced from their homes to live in refugee camps since the invasion of West Sahara by Morocco in 1975.
Write a blogpost in which you summarize the impressions you are left with after working with both fact and fiction. What do you think the UN can do to solve/improve the situation for the refugees/the refugee challenge? What can the world do?
“The Ultimate Safari” by Nadine Gordimer
Watch this 15-minute video produced by the Guardian and read this article from the same news source detailing how some indigenous peoples experience changes to their culture due to effects of climate changes.
What challenges and benefits do the people on Greenland experience because of climate changes? And while Aboriginal Australians may have the same core problem, given their vastly different physiography the effects are even more devastating. Add governmental obstructions, for instance when it comes to infrastructure, into the equation, and it is hard to see any benefits from climate changes like the Greenlanders do. So what challenges do the people of Australia’s Northern Territory face because of climate changes?
Kew scientists have officially given 110 new species scientific names in the course of 2019, this Guardian article reveals. Among these 102 plants and eight fungi are species that can change medicine. One has the ability to trick our taste buds. Another has been used for centuries to treat arthritis. It has only this year been given a formal scientific name, and seems also to have abilities to combat cancer.
According to the article, “[t]here are almost 400,000 known species of plant, and about 2,000 new species are named every year”. Yet with their habitats being under threat due to a variety of dangers, the world is at risk of losing them before the species are even discovered, registered, named, or measures being taken to protect them.
Reflecting on all the undiscovered species still out there and all the potential they hold, particularly within medicine, should we not do more to protect them from becoming extinct? Should we not rage against the forest fires raging in several parts of the world, whether or not the destruction is deliberate? Should we not protest dam projects that could potentially wipe out an entire species? Should we not reflect around our own and our governments’ values and actions (or inaction), in the hopes of preserving nature?
Last week you worked to help enable youth in DR Congo choose education over working in mines. But did you know that that is only one issue the country is facing? Another is Ebola, and an epidemic has plagued the country since August 2018. Sadly, people working towards spreading information and trying to prevent the disease from spreading further are becoming targets… Read this short update from BBC for the current situation and yesterday’s violent attack on a journalist and his wife.
Did you know that Ebola is still not eradicated? Nor HIV, despite existing medicines? Nor measles? Nor a number of other diseases? Why, in today’s day and age? Two weeks ago, the New York Times published an article about the recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It has been five years since the world was scared almost into hysteria during the “last outbreak”, but was it really the last outbreak?
A week ago NRK published a series of pictures released by Doctors Without Borders, listing several forgotten humanitarian crises. I have not been able to find that topic mentioned in other media the last month.
And on a considerably different note, the Saudi Crown Prince was interviewed last night by the CBS show 60 Minutes. He was asked about wide-ranging topics, from the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a year ago, to women’s rights, to the war in Yemen. Did you know there is a war in Yemen?
Tomorrow in class you are going to write for 90 minutes. The tasks will invite you to discuss media in terms of global crises. You might not use any of these topics in your discussion, and media’s focus on Greta Thunberg, or on the Notre Dame fire rather than the fires in Brazil’s rainforest, could be equally interesting starting points. But you do need a starting point, a point of reference, when discussing how media works, or for whom media works, or in which situations we rely on media, or however I plan on phrasing one or two tasks for you. Good luck, and do not hesitate contacting me if you have any questions for tomorrow!
Access to clean water is a human right, and UN Sustainable Goal number 6.
Some scientists claim that in the future, we will not fight wars over oil and riches, but over access to water. In some places of the world, this fight has already started.
Read this article from The Guardian about how rebel groups try to deny access to water as a way to win.
Write a blog post where you comment on water conflicts. Try to find out about similar water conflicts at other places as well.
Gran Torino is a film released in 2008 that features Clint Eastwood as the main character as well as him being the director. Today’s subject day will be dedicated to watching and working with this film. It provides a range of topics to discuss, from multiculturalism and cultural differences, to various socioeconomic challenges, and shows a number of approaches to the value of human life.
We will primarily work in groups: before we watch the film by studying and discussing the film poster, and after the film we will delve into discussions around possible themes that come to mind while watching it. The end result will be an individual blog post that you publish on your own blog at the end of the day, based on questions handed out in class and the group discussions during the day.