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Exploring sierra leone

Exploring sierra leone. The country in conflict behind a long way gone. What’s a memoir, anyways?. A memoir is very much like an autobiography (that is, a book about a person, written by the person), except that:

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Exploring sierra leone

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  1. Exploring sierra leone The country in conflict behind a long way gone

  2. What’s a memoir, anyways? • A memoir is very much like an autobiography (that is, a book about a person, written by the person), except that: • Rather than the story spanning a person’s lifetime, it focuses on an event or time in the author’s life that shaped his or her personality. • The narrative is not as rigid as an autobiography, which is typically chronological (in order from birth to old age).

  3. Your task • You will be tasked with recording notes from one of the four topics we will cover in this slide show. Your group will exchange information at the end. • Green- Geographical Context • Yellow- Cultural Context • Blue- Political Context • Red- Youth Voice • 2. You will individually write a one page memoir from the voice of a teenager in Sierra Leone.

  4. Geographical context Green, that’s you

  5. Where In the world is sierra leone? Riiight here, on the west coast of Africa. That’s the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. Here’s a closer look

  7. Typical village scene

  8. Overlooking Kenema

  9. The coastline

  10. Statistics & need to know’s • Capital City: Freetown • Population: ~6.3 million (2008 estimate) • Area: 27,699 sq. mi. (about the size of West Virginia) • Official Language: English, Krio (a mix of English and African languages) • Religion: Muslim (60%) • Sierra Leone translates to mean “Lion Mountains” in English • Literacy Rate: 31% • Natural Resources: Diamonds, Titanium, Bauxite (aluminum ore), Gold • Divided into four geographical regions: North, South, East, and West Provinces • Climate: Tropical, Two seasons (wet and dry)

  11. Cultural context Yellow, you’re up

  12. agriculture • Rice is a staple of the Sierra Leonean diet, and is consumed at almost every meal. • Other popular items include: • Potato Leaves • Cassava leaves and root • Hot peppers • Peanuts • Tomatoes • Beans • Okra • Fish • Beef • Chicken • Eggplant • Street vendors sell fresh fruit • Poyo (palm wine)

  13. Art as a release • My Democratic Pie • It is my democratic right, is it not,ere my last grain of life is lostto think, say and do my desired lot • What should I care if your millions dieI will have and eat my democratic pie. • Nations will I topple in the name of democracytheir indigenes foreverdoomed to share collective bankruptcy • Burn bright flame of a democratI care not for the rat • Yours the better to destroythis ambition I will buildfie! the follies of fools: thwart not my ploy • Success comes to those fair of skin : who darenot to those who fear • To the depths of Hades goes the plutocratAnd support me you must,minion of a democrat! • - Alex Dove Bangura Art is a therapeutic agent, this is understood by all cultures around the world. Sierra Leone in no exception. Artists release their feeling of anger, hopelessness, loss, hope, happiness, etc. through: Poetry Art Writing Song Film Dance

  14. Art as therapy

  15. Rap/hip hop • American Rap and Hip Hop is incredibly popular amongst Sierra Leonean teenagers. • Performing and writing lyrics is an outlet for those affected by poverty and war. • Can help provide a sense of purpose and a source of power • Refugee All Stars

  16. Political context Blue, that’s you

  17. A little bit of history • An important center of the Transatlantic trade route until March 11, 1792 • Was to serve as the home of freed slaves (hence, Freetown) from the British Empire. The indigenous and freed slaves did not integrate well. • Independence from the UK: April 27, 1961 • Ruling government quickly becomes corrupt, profiting from the diamond trade, while the rest of the country lives in poverty • The RUF (Revolutionary United Front) formed soon after, and civil war ravaged the country from 1991 until 1999, when world leaders intervened and the Lome Peace Treaty was signed. • Over 50,000 people have been killed, and over a million displaced by the civil war.

  18. Youth voice Red…Oh hey

  19. Child soldiers How does this happen?

  20. Youth voices • "I feel so bad about the things that I did. It disturbs me so much that I inflicted death on other people. When I go home I must do some traditional rites because I have killed. I must perform these rites and cleanse myself. I still dream about the boy from my village that I killed. I see him in my dreams, and he is talking to me, saying I killed him for nothing, and I am crying." A 16-year-old girl after demobilization from an armed group (Source: U.S. State Dept. TIP Report 2005) • "When they came to my village, they asked my older brother whether he was ready to join the militia. He was just 17 and he said no; they shot him in the head. Then they asked me if I was ready to sign, so what could I do - I didn't want to die." A former child soldier taken when he was 13. • "Being new, I couldn't perform the very difficult exercises properly and so I was beaten every morning. Two of my friends in the camp died because of the beatings. The soldiers buried them in the latrines. I am still thinking of them". (Former child soldier interviewed in 2002.)

  21. Why children join the fight • Poverty • Lack of education • Loss of family members (orphaned) as a result of conflict, disease, starvation • For food and shelter • Promise of income • Desire for power, status, recognition • Family/Peer pressure • Girls: to escape domestic servitude, enforced marriage, or domestic violence • That is, if not they are not forced into fighting. Soldiers are brainwashed and given illicit drugs upon enlisting.

  22. It’s go time Get ready

  23. Now that that’s over… • Share the information you gathered with your group members.  Discuss and share surprising facts, new ideas, different perspectives. (5-10 minutes)

  24. Writing your memoir • Put yourself in the shoes of a teenager living in the conflict.  Develop a narrator's voice and write a fictionalized memoir (no less than one page) from the point of view of a fictional teenager living in Sierra Leone during the conflict in the 1990's. • Are you male or female?  • What is your name?  • Where do you live?  • What do you do for fun? • Make sure there is geographical, cultural, political, and youth voice facts. Weave the facts into the story in a smooth way.

  25. What I’m grading on • An A paper: • Demonstrates excellent understanding of geography, culture, politics, and teenagers of Sierra Leone through no less than 1 detailed example for each. • Voice of character is fully developed and complex. • Memoir is mistake free and presented with style.

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