Conflict in Syria: Cultural Roots

There are many good sources that look at the roots of the conflict in Syria. Here are a few:

Humans of New York – Photos and Blog, by Brandon Stanton

Everyone has hopes and reams, things that make them sad, and unique experiences and ways of seeing the world. This blog, my new favorite, is a great one for talking about stereotypes and identity.

Cultural Appropriation: A Conversation – Photographs and Words by Sanaa Hamid

From Sanaa Hamid: “This body of work is an exploration of the extent of cultural appropriation and encourages a discussion about it. I give the appropriator and the appropriated the opportunity to defend themselves and create a dialogue between them, while maintaining a neutral stance myself. I am not attacking those who appropriate, merely educating and creating awareness. Neutrality is key in this series, as i remove myself from my political and social status and opinions, stripping the problem to the most basic issue; taking an item that means a great deal to somebody and corrupting it.”

Pico Iyer: Where is Home? (TED Talk)

Where are you from? What does it mean to be “from” somewhere… does that refer to your heritage, your legal status, where you spend your time, or your heart? This is a wonderful talk by writer Pico Iyer.

“Wince: George and Trayvon” by Andy Johnson

As I post this, closing arguments are underway in the George Zimmerman trial, a case that is wrapped in issues of identity, stereotyping, perceptions, justice, and race. As we examine Trayvon’s death and George’s trial (and all the related media and framing), this piece, written shortly after Trayvon’s death by my friend Andy Johnson, provides an opportunity for reflection.

“Transgender at Five” By Petula Dvorak, Washington Post

Kathryn, from the age of two, insisted that she was a boy. Now he’s Tyler.

Related content:


“Reflections on Being a Third Culture Kid (TCK)” by Lisa Zenno

This post was written by my former student, Lisa Zenno. She describes her experience living in many countries as she grew up and how this influences her today!

Related articles:

Does Disney’s Tonto Reinforce Stereotypes Or Overcome Them? – NPR Story

I’m a big fan of Johnny Depp, but his casting as Tonto raises some serious questions about authenticity, stereotyping, and opportunities for minorities in many careers. This story does a good job of examining some of the issues.

Immigration Policies Around the World (National Geographic Article)

Immigration is often a touchy issues… who should be allowed and who should be excluded are questions that are often asked. Associated is the question of cultural authenticity and identity. This article compares a few countries’ positions.