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.
Today we are going to follow the awards ceremony and listen to the Nobel lectures taking place in the City Hall in Oslo: NRK’s coverage of the awards ceremony
The Nobel Peace Prize 2018 was awarded jointly to Denis Mukwege and Nadia Murad “for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as a weapon of war and armed conflict.” We have earlier seen that Denis Mukwege has worked relentlessly for women who have been raped and sexually assaulted in conflicts in The Democratic Republic of Congo. Nadia Murad from Iraq was kept a sexual prisoners of the IS and continues to be one of the strongest spokespersons against sexualized violence. She belongs to the Yezidi minority, which you can read more about here. To learn more about her activism, read this article from the Guardian
Write a blog post including the following:
- After reading the two texts about Goal. 3 we read last week, you will find the links in the post “Good health and well-being” – what do you think are the biggest challenges yet to solve in order for this goal to be reached? Explain your answer.
- Use WHO’s website or other relevant pages you find and look at emergencies. Choose either an area or a disease and do some research – what is going on here? What emergency is being caused by this disease, or what medical emergencies are going on in the area you chose? Read up, and then explain in your own words. Include what is being done, and look up other sources as well to see if you can find more supporting evidence.
- Reflect: based on your new knowledge about a disease, or an area in medical emergency – what would you say is being done to reach goal 3? What would you say is NOT being done, but should be done? Can you think of any challenges that could hinder progress for this goal? Which and why? Can you think of any solutions for these challenges?
We will then watch “Ethical Riddles in HIV research” by Boghuma Kabisen Titanji, and read “MSF: Johnson&Johnson prices keep key TB medicines out of reach” from Doctors Without Borders.
Yesterday, this article was posted in the New York Times. It relates directly to the topics we are working with, quality education and gender equality. It is about an incident in Pakistan where 14 schools, most of them for girls, where burned down during one night, in a district where only 11% of the girls know how to read and write.
“One girl with courage is a revolution”
As an introduction to the topic Global Challenges you are going to watch the film Girl Rising.
Girl Rising is a film about the benefits of educating girls. It introduces nine girls from around the world in their struggle to get an education and achieve their dreams.
The film was released in 2013 and is part of the Girl Rising campaign.
As we watch the film, take notes, as you are to to discuss the film in your groups afterwards. Also, note down all the global challenges that are dealt with in the film and see if you can group them together in a logical order.
- Which girls’ stories made the greatest impression on you? Why?
- “One girl with courage is a revolution”. After watching the film, what does that phrase imply – do you agree or can you think of a better catchphrase?
- Girl Rising is neither pure journalism, nor fiction. The filmmakers have tried to go beyond the facts into the human experience. Did you find yourself getting lost in the stories in a way that was interesting or effective? Why or why not?
- The girls of Girl Rising live in very difficult circumstances. Yet they do not consider themselves as victims. Are you able, through the storytelling, to relate to their lives in a way that lets you empathize rather than sympathize? Why or why not?
- What are the messages from the film that you think will resonate most strongly with people who are not already familiar with this issue?
Ingunn and Hanna
Read some eyewitness accounts from a city in shock, this is a text from the New York Times the day after the 9/11 terrorist attack on the city.
Write a short blog post (2 paragraphs at the most) including your own thoughts and impressions after reading the text and seeing parts of the documentary in class.
Write a blog post where you compare the book and the film. Watch the trailer to the film and an interview with the author, Mohsin Hamid and the director, Mira Nair linked to in this blog post
In your blog post, comment on differences in plot, character descriptions and relationships, as well as focus and message in the film vs the book. To what extent do you think that these changes are justified or even improve the story? Or do you think they contribute to the film losing all the subtlety and complex ambiguity of the novel, as argued in this review ?
Gran Torino is a film released in 2008, staring Clint Eastwood – a war veteran trying to comes to terms with the multicultural society his neighborhood is turning into.
(Gran Torino movie poster, picture taken from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gran_Torino)
It is an excellent film, with a 8,2 rating on IMDB, portraying multiculturalism, its challenges and its benefits.
Before watching the film you will be given the movie poster and some questions about the symbolism and importance of cars, and the city of Detroit, about American war veterans and Asian Americans in the USA.
Write a short blog post where you analyze the movie poster – what kind of impression does it give of the movie?
Also, try to answer the questions you have been given in this blog post. It should be posted on your blog today, as you will have about 45 minutes to work with it in class.