Monday, 27 June 2022

Matt Black's American Geography

A cross-posting from my Geography in/on Film blog.

Matt Black's 'American Geography' is a film to accompany a project where he explores the poorer parts of the USA.
It is a Magnum Photos project.



Between 2015 and 2020, Matt Black traveled over 100,000 miles across 46 states. American Geography documents the experiences of those living in some of the poorest communities in the nation. Starting in his hometown in California’s Central Valley, where billions of dollars are generated every year in agricultural output but one-third of the population lives in poverty, he traveled to other areas of “concentrated poverty” – as US census definition of places with a poverty rate of 20 percent or more. What Black found is that rather than being distant anomalies, these communities were rarely more than a two-hour drive apart enabling him to cross the country without ever crossing above the poverty line.

There is also a website which has further details on the project including diaries, photographs, images of Matt's Greyhound bus tickets and other ephemera. It's really nicely put together and I'm sure could form the basis for an exploration of the southern states of the USA.

The film can be viewed on the link above.

He also visits Flint, Michigan


Saturday, 4 June 2022

GeogPod: National Fieldwork Week

One of the best ways to appreciate the landscape is to head out on fieldwork. 

The latest GeogPod has been released and it features Paula Richardson and I talking about the GA's National Research Report and how that fed into the development of the National Fieldwork Week.

 This starts on Monday the 6th of June.



Thanks to John Lyon for hosting - see if you can spot the question I wasn't expecting... :) 

Wednesday, 23 March 2022

AQA Pre-release 2022

I was told yesterday that the AQA GCSE pre-release material for the 2022 summer exam season was based in / or mentioned Ely, so I asked for a copy and discovered that it was based on an application by Amey to add an incinerator to their existing waste management park near Waterbeach / Denny Abbey to the south of Ely, along the A10.


The scheme was controversial, although the benefits were clearly stated by the company. A protest group was set up, and commissioned a report on the impact of the proposal, which included mention of the chimney which would be taller than Ely Cathedral and spoil the view towards it from Madingley (a place of geographical significance).

Interestingly, for a pre-release where students usually have to weigh up whether a planned development should go ahead, the decision has already been made in that the scheme was .... spoiler alert.... turned down in 2020.


I tried to add some local contexts - newspaper articles, campaign group reports, local landscape character analysis reports etc. into the mix and shared to the community - AQA is the most popular GCSE specification choice so there will be lots of teachers looking to prepare something on this, and we are all working at our limits at the moment with hybrid learning for many still due to students recovering at home from COVID.

Anthony Bennett has added a copy of the document to his page of pre-release materials. This is available to subscribers and non-subscribers of Internet Geography.

An editable version is below or on this link...


Feel free to download a copy and add your own ideas to the document - there have already been some deletions from the document which is a little disappointing, but I have been able to recover to previous versions.

Images: Alan Parkinson and shared under CC license

Sunday, 13 February 2022

Perec and Psychogeography in Huddersfield

This programme was last broadcast in 2021, but is being broadcast on Radio 3 again today.

You will be able to hear it from tomorrow evening, or perhaps Monday morning.

It is presented by Kevin Boniface, a postman based in Huddersfield who has written books on his psychogeographical adventures for uniformbooks.

It connects perfectly with my conference theme of Everyday Geographies, and also the work of Georges Perec and his books which look at the infra-ordinary.

Thursday, 10 February 2022

Rura - In Praise of Home


This 2018 album from the Scottish folk band RURA is excellent

The theme for the whole album is home and what it means to people, but it also invokes the Scottish landscape - the wider sense of home for all Scots. The title track and a later track includes some nice sampled reflections on home - the only lyrics on the album. The words are explored here in a nice reflection on their meaning.

It's an addictive listen.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

LitHub: Place is its own story

 I enjoyed this piece by Morgan Thomas. They have explored some changing ways of representing place during their development as a writer.

Place in the 21st century is increasingly dynamic. Last year’s “unprecedented” Oregon fire season has been outpaced this year. New York City has seen fifty percent more rainfall during severe storms. Hurricane Ida strengthened from a tropical storm to a category four hurricane faster than hurricanes usually do. Now especially the ability of fiction to accurately render place depends on our understanding of it as a responsive ecosystem. A reflexive insistence that any place in a story that thinks and responds is a character perpetuates narratives of our environment as inanimate, unthinking, unchanging. These narratives have undergirded centuries of environmental degradation and have led to our current climate crisis.


Thursday, 20 January 2022

GeogLive! 6 - Cold Landscapes

The U.K has a seasonal, temperate climate, while globally we have extremes. 

How can we teach pupils about cold landscapes from EY-KS2? About this event Join us for this two part session on cold landscapes. 

Part 1: Emma Kerr, Headteacher, Teaching about Antarctica and the Shackleton Project

Part 2: Sharon Witt, Consultant, Exploring local winter landscapes 

Chaired by Julia Tanner @EYPPC_GA committee, @The_GA 

This free webinar will support conversations about distant places from the U.K, the teaching of geography at cold latitudes and consideration of the people, locations and environments we might find there. This webinar will conclude with a Q+A and some information about the extensive support the Geographical Association offers: high-quality classroom resources, inspirational teaching ideas, Subject Leader guidance, excellent continuing professional development events, and stimulating networking opportunities, reflecting OFSTED’s recent recommendation that teachers draw on "subject-specific support and professional networks ‘ (Ofsted, 2021).

Watch a recording here.
I particularly loved Sharon Witt's session of course - as always.