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Borderlands – The Troubles: Media Response and Discussion 
Brief: This assignment involves watching, listening, and reading about The Troubles, the 30 years of violent conflict in Northern Ireland that lasted into the late ’90s. 
What to do and why: This builds on the portion of the lesson slides about the Troubles (the 7 min video and article are linked below, as well). Please watch two episodes of the comedy series, Derry Girls(the first episode and one of your choice) and listen to songs about the Troubles for this discussion post. 
Time management: Each episode of Derry Girls is 23ish minutes, the Vox video is 7 minutes, and the songs are song-length. There are quite a few questions, so be sure to set aside writing and thinking time. Estimated total time: 2hrs.
Basically, the idea is to explore different angles on The Troubles: in nonfiction (vox video and article from lesson), fiction (two episodes of Derry Girls), and art (song).
Explicit content warning: language and crude humor, A.K.A. this is a show about teenagers.
Background: in the lesson, there are a couple of slides about The Troubles that include the following video and article links. Please watch the video and read the article while you work on this assignment or beforehand.
Video: How Brexit could create a crisis at the Irish border 
Article about Brexit and Reunification: https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/3/9/irish-reunification-debate-looms-large-as-ni-nears-centenary
Part 1: Derry Girls
Special materials: Access to Netflix (if you do not have it, borrow a password from a pal; if you do not have a password pal, you may be able to make a free trial account; if you are unable to gain access to the episodes by these or any other means, let me know).
Instructions: Watch the first episode of Derry Girls on Netflix (or elsewhere if you can find it) and answer the associated questions. Then select and watch one of the other episodes I cherry-picked, and answer the associated questions. A couple of the questions will require knowledge beyond the episode itself, which can be found in the slides/article/video or good ‘ol Wikipedia.
1.1. Season 1: Episode 1 Questions
At the start of the first episode, we learn from Erin’s Diary that we are in “Derry, or Londonderry, depending on your persuasion.” What is the difference between Derry and Londonderry? 
What is the family watching on TV in the first scene? Why were they upset about the events on the news?
How did James’s experiences and reaction to things differ from the reactions of the others (like when they’re stopped at a checkpoint or in the parent meeting)? How would you react in that situation?
While watching, what popped out to you as interesting or neat or especially funny? 
How is the episode connected to geographic themes or other things we’ve learned about in this course?
1.2. *Your Choice* Episode Questions
Choose one of the following to watch as a second episode*
S 1, Episode 4 – Teenage refugees, the “Children of Chernobyl,” come to Derry. The party has a chocolate fountain.
S 1, Episode 5 – The family tries to leave town to avoid possible parade-related violence and find a radical in their boot.
S 2, Episode 1: Across the Barricades – The girls’ attempts to make friends with Protestant boys does not go very well.
*Or you may write about one of your choice. I chose these because they contain relevant and interesting geographic and historical detail, but that can be said about many of them. Maybe you have seen the show and have a favorite? The last episode of season 2 is really great for this, but it won’t make as much sense if you haven’t watched the whole thing. 
Brief summary of the plot of your episode pick:
Do a quick search for background. What real-world events or experiences are being depicted in this episode?
While watching, what popped out to you as interesting or neat or especially funny? 
How is the episode connected to geographic themes or other things we’ve learned about in this course?
Part 2: Listen and Reflect
Choose 2-3 songs about The Troubles to listen to and answer the questions below about one of those songs. There are many, but I am linking several of the most popular here:
Zombie, The Cranberries: The Cranberries – Zombie (Official Music Video)

Sunday, Bloody Sunday (by John Lennon & Yoko Ono, famous cover by U2)

Invisible Sun (The Police): The Police – Invisible Sun 

The Troubles (U2): U2 – The Troubles (Lyrics) 

Listening Questions: 

In what ways do the lyrics reference The Troubles?

What is the mood evoked by the song? 

Theorize: what was the artist’s motivation for writing this song?

Part 3: Review, Reflect, and Respond

What is reunification (in the context of Northern Ireland, not that one TNG two-parter when Spock goes to Romulus…which is actually called “Unification” now that I think about it but I am leaving in this aside because it’s a good episode and you should watch it sometime)? Who advocates for and against reunification? 

Why is the sectarian conflict in Northern Ireland still relevant?
What might you learn from a fictional story/program that you may not from a nonfiction story? 
Was it helpful to learn about this issue via different entertainment and news media? Why or why not?

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