During the past decade the development of open source digital technologies has for the first time put the means of mapping in the hands of ordinary citizens. They can now create maps that tell their own story; they can use GPS to plan their journeys by land or sea, they can go ‘geo-caching’ and adventure into new and unfamiliar environments in search of buried treasure…
In practice, however, the outcome has been far from empowering. These developments have occurred in the context of processes of globalization which have hollowed out the resources of locally-situated knowledge and marginalised many of its communities of interest and affiliation. As a result there is a growing tension between the enlarged scale of social networking through virtual media and the narrowing scope of social ambition and economic opportunity navigated within the urban public realm.
Against this background this series aims to bring together geographers and ethnographers, environmentalists and computer scientists, artists and writers, in a shared conversation around the possibilities of challenging panoptic and forensic cartographies which marginalize or pathologise populations perceived to be obstacles to ‘progress’,‘modernity’ or ‘public order’. It will also explore alternative strategies of ‘counter-mapping’. Each session combines theoretical and practical presentations around a specific theme. The series is organised by the Living Maps Network as part of a programme of initiatives designed to produce a re-mapping of East London’s past, present and future.
The next event is ‘Hidden Histories’ and will take place on Feb 11th at The Building Exploratory in Farringdon, London. For more details and the full programme of events please have a look at the flyer.