Thursday, 9 July 2015

Into no man's land

A new RGS-IBG sponsored expedition called 'Into no-man's land' is preparing to set off, and would act as a useful stimulus for students to explore ideas such as conflict, changing places, and global learning.
 
An introduction to Into No Man's Land from Into No Man's Land on Vimeo.

It is heading from London to the Egyptian-Sudan border.

No Man’s Lands have the capacity to intrigue and inspire. They challenge straight forward understandings of ‘place’ and excite our understanding of geography, revealing the ragged (and rugged) edges that continue to feature on maps of the modern world. And yet, far from being empty and abandoned spaces, this expedition will uncover the landscapes, lives, and ways of living that no man’s lands contain and produce.


Marking the centenary of the Great War, this 6000-mile expedition traces the historical- and political geographies of the No Man’s Land from its Medieval origins to describe the cracks between fiefdoms to the militarized No Man’s Land of the Western Front, along the fault-line of the Iron Curtain in Eastern and Southern Europe and the UN Buffer Zone that continues to divide the island of Cyprus, even after 40 years. It culminates in Bir Tawil on the Egypt-Sudan border – the last truly unclaimed space on Earth.

As a figure of speech, No-Man’s Land is applied to anywhere from derelict inner-city districts and buffer-zones to ‘ungovernable’ regions and tax havens. But what is no-man’s land? What are the conditions that produce it? How is it administered? What sort of human activities do no-man’s lands harbour? These are the questions that prompt us to think about the no-man’s lands not as dead zones, but as living spaces.


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