Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Kimberly's presentation 1/20

Wendt discusses that even the availability of literature for the youth in these regions is that which is not only largely revered, such as Robinson Crusoe, Coral Island, and Treasure Island, but it is that which promotes “permanent colonial tutledge.” (Albert Wendt, “pacific Maps and Fiction(s)” p.69) One small step that Wendt takes to counter-act this racist phenomenon is to always refer to the Mountain near his alma mater by its original name, not the more recent name it was given by post colonial settlers. Insults, deliberate or not, which affect the original inhabitants of the land to the point of adjusting and even re-naming their maps, geographical and other maps, is sadly not only common to the South Pacific. Whale Rider concludes on a happy note, as one feels that the Maori culture, and all that is instrumental to it such as their maps and their geography, is saved and will live on in peace. As shapers of American maps, do you feel we have ventured far from our brutal embarrassing past where slaves were a norm and women and blacks were not permitted to vote, particularly on this significant day on which President Barack Obama is in office? Usually I hope and feel that the times are permanently and positively changed, but on occasion the ladder is ripped out from under me.
For Christmas, I recently purchased this movie, “Melody Time,” for my 6-year-old, as he is an avid pianist whose great passion has been his piano since age two. I will conclude my presentation by showing you a clip from this film, which is a blatant portrayal of map destruction. It is a disconcerting example of something that needs to be eliminated from our culture, from our maps. The small step that I can take, similar to what Wendt did to preserve his map of the mountain, is to ban this DVD from my household and hold a discussion on what is wrong about it with my children, which I already have accomplished.

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