Seeing life through a different lens
We caught up with Geography with Archaeology graduate Ahmet Uyar, who reflects on his time as a student at Brighton and how exploring some of our human geography modules in particular encouraged him to see life through a different lense.
The course spoke to my fascination with humans, cultures and history – it was a beautiful amalgamation of society, physical geography, gender roles, global realities and politics.
Previously human geography to me was just real-world phenomena and how that affected real-world people, but this course encouraged me to study geography though a myriad of different contexts, concepts and lenses.
The course taught me to think critically and creatively and gave me to the tools to properly understand our relationship and approach to resource access and distribution, conservation, development pathways, tenure rights, health care and education and women in senior leadership roles. (Particularly how gender subjectivities and colonialist action underpin all of these).
I was encouraged to think in an epistemologically disobedient way, to seek out and study disenfranchised, under-represented and ignored voices and to respect and value these different sources of knowledge. Also to question and critique status quo geographic narratives and structures.
The value the course placed on ontological pluralism and understanding how indigenous peoples approach the world and environment differs so drastically to ours, encouraged me to think outside the box. I learnt that my relationship with the environment or natural phenomena for example, was completely different to an indigenous woman or man and understanding these ancient cultures and traditions helped me to frame and more appropriately contextualise modern day phenomena such a poverty, gender subjectivities and development.
I really valued that the course created discursive learning environments. The seminars and lectures, starting with ‘space and place’ in the first year, encouraged dialogic learning, discussion and debate producing fascinating third spaces.
Finally, I really enjoyed the situated learning as it took modern day examples of inequalities, violence or subjugation and pushed you to think about our role and responsibility within these greater structures and global chains. It taught us to be global citizens, to place ourselves at the heart of world issues and make a real difference now.