Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Ides Of March - With Syria, Not Shakespeare

Source: WithSyria
Sometimes when we get caught up in the day-to-day activity in our classrooms, we overlook something important. We celebrated Pi Day last Friday, and St. Patrick’s Day on Monday, but missed the Ides of March over the weekend. We are not talking about the infamous line in the play Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Instead, March 15 marked the third anniversary of the civil war in Syria.

Right now, the news is preoccupied with the missing Malaysian jet. Even the crisis in the Ukraine has taken second stage to the airplane mystery. While this is an urgent matter, little attention to other newsworthy information seems to make the evening news, particularly about Syria. Is it that old? Too boring? Not current enough?

Perhaps this is why several powerful videos surfaced to help us think otherwise. In the video “With Syria,” street artist Banksy and movie star Idris Elba collaborate on a new awareness campaign for the victims of the conflict. Banksy’s iconic “Girl with the Red Balloon” is carried above and away from the reality of the horrors below.

"With Syria" includes over 130 humanitarian and human rights groups joining together in solidarity for this to be the last anniversary of conflict in Syria.

These media pieces specifically focus on the most vulnerable in the Syrian crisis, the children. In an earlier post, we featured visual resources to help our learners understand the civil war. One of those was the video by Simon Rawles, entitled "Syria's Lost Generation," which highlights the plight and suffering of children in a straightforward documentary format.

The videos in this post are different from the one created by Rawles. This is particularly apparent in the Save the Children clip, entitled the “Most Shocking Second A Day Video,” when a child’s world is turned upside down as a result of war. What if Britain were Syria? By design, it deliberately pushes us emotionally, leaving an uncomfortable, haunting feeling. While both appeal to our emotions, the messages were constructed for different purposes. Side by side, they make for a strong media literacy lesson on technique and the power of persuasion.

Save the Children also produced another video narrated by Stephen Hawking called “I’m Giving My Voice.” In essence, Hawking is giving his voice to those who don’t have one in this civil war, the children.

The inherent qualities of the videos in this post are designed as media messages to keep a focus on arguably the worst humanitarian crisis in recent memory. Perhaps, too, it’s time to take advantage of the media and challenge networks to keep all crises front and center whether it’s Syria or the Ukraine. Moving from one hyped event to another should not make anything so serious less newsworthy.

Source: WithSyria

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  1. Thanks for sharing. Nice one...
    Waiting more and more from you :)

  2. I really like this blog is a great pleasure to read something new and interesting.


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