Tuesday 1 February 2011

Satirical Maps - a place for them in 2011?

The last of the Beauty of Maps Series airs tonight on BBC Four (Repeats from 2010).
"This documentary series has been looking at maps in incredible detail to highlight their artistic attributions and reveal the stories that they tell. The series concludes by delving into the world of satirical maps. How did maps take on a new form, not as geographical tools, but as devices for humour, satire or storytelling?"
To me, it raises the question as to whether these kind of maps would ever have been created if political sensitivity was as fragile then as it is today. Would an English newspaper be able to publish such prints to the nation or world today and not suffer consequences like other cartoon impressions around the world have in recent years...? If some are still offended by these maps 140 years later then they're obviously still seen as very powerful images. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a great map worth?

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