Confronting right-wing extremism through geomedia based education

Authors: Thomas Jekel*, Austrian Academy of Sciences - GIScience
Topics: Geography Education, Higher Education, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: learning, geomedia; education, spatial citizenship; right-wing extremism
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/14/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Oakley, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Across Europe, and probably the world, messages of the extreme right surface with
increasing and alarming regularity in both public and virtual space. Within the virtual space,
geomedia are increasingly used in nationalist propaganda, a trend which is embedded in a
wider development in public discourse, election results, and policies. In Austria and Germany,
particular sensibilities due to the responsibility for the Holocaust have developed, leading to various
specific education initiatives that address this part of history. This paper presents an activist
learning environment using geomedia to deconstruct right-wing extremist discourses, and has
been tested used in university settings in Salzburg and Vienna. Using a combination of Instagram
and geospatial technologies not visible to learners, results of reflection and learning processes
are analyzed qualitatively across two slightly different enactments of the learning environment.
Experiences suggest an encouraging potential of geomedia use in critical learning processes, as long
as the technology is hidden from learners, forming an incentive, support, and contextualization of
the learning process.

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