A British university research project is being conducted which will examine how youth from the Falkland Islands (or the Islas Malvinas as defined in Argentina) and Argentina learn about the history of their territories and nation-state. The study will also reflect on the perspectives of youth in the region regarding the ongoing tensions between the UK and Argentina.
Dr Matt Benwell is a member of staff in the Department of Geography at the University of Liverpool. He is undertaking a research project which is interested in how youth, aged from 18 to their late-20s, from the Falkland Islands and Argentina, learn about the history of where they grow up and in particular how they understand the recent actions of Argentine and British politicians in the South Atlantic region.
His research asks how the attitudes of youth may differ to those of older generations as well as considering the significance of these differences for future relations in the region? Having already undertaken research in Buenos Aires, carrying out interviews with Argentine youth, academics and teachers he now wishes to focus on the question of what it means to be a young Falkland Islander as well as exploring the role of education, adults, commemorative events and popular culture in the formation of their (national) identity, historical knowledge and political perspectives.
Dr Benwell’s research interests are broadly situated in Social and Cultural Geography and more specifically he takes an interest in the lives and perspectives of children and youth living in the Global South in relation to geopolitical issues. His previous research was situated in post-apartheid urban Cape Town, South Africa and explored the ways in which societal change (alongside other interconnected factors) influenced children’s geographical movement around public space.
His more recent research looks at popular representations of territorial disputes in Argentina and the Malvinas/Falklands and their reception by Argentine and Falkland Islander youth.
Dr Benwell would be keen to talk to anyone (from Argentina, the Falkland Islands and/or the UK) within the age bracket who is interested in getting involved, or alternatively any teachers or other informed individuals. Please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
His publications include:
Dodds, K., & Benwell, M.C. (2010). More unfinished business: The Falklands/Malvinas, maritime claims and the spectre of oil in the South Atlantic. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 28, 571-580;
Benwell, M.C. (2009). Challenging minority world privilege: children’s outdoor mobilities in post-apartheid South Africa. Mobilities, 4 (1), 77-101
Benwell, M.C. (2009). ‘Race’ or race: reflections on (self-) censorship and avoidance in research with children. Children’s Geographies, 7 (2), 229-233.