Nationalism; What is it?
Hi! Welcome to my blog post. This project, called “the case for a nation” was very long. Two-to-three weeks long, we covered a lot of topics and information. Each week we’d produce one or two videos, each planned, storyboarded and scripted. Right off the bat, I can tell you one of the things this project taught was how to manage our time, which is a valuable life skill. I’m deeply grateful for the lessons my teachers and peers taught me. We learnt about everything from the Crimean war and German nationalism in the 19th century to the Indian Act and Louie Riel. Nationalism was at the core of all our studies. Nationalism is “The love for one’s nation, especially to the detriment of others.” To understand nationalism however, we need to reflect.
Video one was a parent interview. We asked our parents what they know of nationalism and a series of other questions that we’re planned ahead. The goal of this was to figure out how much they knew of nationalism. We would learn about nationalism and our 4th video would be an explainer, which would answer the question “how can an understanding of nationalism help us today?” Then, we’d show this video to our parents and film their reaction and see what they learnt from our videos, if they did in fact learn from them. During this first video we had to design our questions to be appropriate and specific. Reflecting on this video, it taught us how to design our questions as well as how to frame an interview. We had to choose appropriate and specific questions that our parents would understand, no matter their knowledge, and make them wonder.
Video two was my favourite. We designed, illustrated and animated an “animatic”. And animatic is a moving storyboard, often used in the process of designing big budget films to give an idea of how the shots and transitions will look. We made ours on a specific example of nationalism. We could pic German, Italian American and Russian nationalism. I chose German and learnt about Otto Von Bismarck who unified several countries into what is modern day Germany. This section taught us time management and a different skill sets for making films. We also learnt how to build our knowledge by using technology, such as MLA formatting, how to organize and plan our film and knowledge and how to build our animatics.
Then we had to make a tutorial video. This explains the steps or processes behind something such as cooking, painting, makeup or even a dance. Here we had to explain nationalism in Canada as well. Specifically, how Canada transformed from a series of colonies to a country. This is known as “confederation”. We had to explain the different elements and events in the story of confederation, such as what pushed the colonies apart and want promises ultimately brought them together. We really had to adapt for this; Metaphors or literal representations were both options. I used literal representations in my video, which was a cooking tutorial. Reflecting, we learnt how to tell a story without saying it out loud, rather representing it. We also elaborated on our knowledge on how design our scripts and screenplays by having to make a more difficult and elaborate script. We couldn’t outright tell the story and all of its finer details, we had to find a way to hint and imply them and for it to be clear and understandable enough.
Our fourth video was a big one. It was time to demonstrate our learning. We combined all of our learning into one explainer video of some kind. Me and my partner Sophia chose to do an animatic once again, because we both enjoyed making them. We used three examples of nationalism to tell our story and use them as evidence to answer the driving question, or question we strive to answer for this project, which was “How can an understanding of nationalism help us today?” The examples we used were:
– German nationalism in the 19th century.
– American nationalism in the 19th century & today.
– French Canadian nationalism today.
Using evidence and logic from those examples we answer the question.
We can use knowledge of nationalism in the past and compare it to today to understand political movements, ideals and conflicts. By comparing the past to the present day, we can predict and prevent events that tie into nationalism. For example, an understanding of German nationalism is helping experts today with German nationalism on the rise again. Specifically they predict that anti-European feelings will seep into the country and Germany will try to become a military power once more. But I’m going to use this opportunity to show my learning. I understand nationalism as a love for once country to the point where it actively sees itself as better and harms the interests and peoples of other nations. Nationalism is good in a healthy dose. But it large amounts, such as the USA in the 19th century and Germany in the 19th to mid 20th century, it can be extremely dangerous to outsiders who do not fit in that particular nation. And a nation isn’t a country, rather a group of people united together by common characteristic(s). Nationalism is seen today in some American media that shows Canada or foreign countries as idolizing and worshiping America.
Video five ties into video one. We take the same parent we interviewed and have them react to our video four. We film our parent’s reactions to the videos. Then we design more questions to see what they learnt/understood from our videos. Here we had to learn how to anticipate and prepare for their question/reactions.