[Gfoss] Lettura interessante sul potere delle mappe "The war of the maps"

Maurizio Napolitano napo a fbk.eu
Mar 3 Apr 2012 00:35:16 CEST


The war of the maps: the political use of maps and atlases To shape 
national consciousness – Israel versus the Palestinian Authority
European Journal of Geography Volume 3, Issue 1: 23-4

The purpose of this article is to examine the political uses of 
geographical maps made to form the national identity of  pupils in the 
educational systems of both Israel and the Palestinian Authority. People 
trust maps and see them as true representations of reality because 
cartography has an aura of scientific accuracy stemming from the notion 
that map and territory are identical. In fact, map drawing is 
interpretation rather than an exact copying of reality to paper. The 
map's ability to present a pre-ordered reality allows for its use as an 
extremely meaningful political tool. Nations and other political bodies 
make much use of maps for propaganda or political messages. These bodies 
make use of cartographic tools aimed at creating their own "truth", 
focusing only on those facts or "alleged facts" that might form 
behaviors conforming to their interests. There are also cognitive maps 
residing in our minds or hearts. Although intangible, they carry much 
weight regarding spatial decisions made by individuals. Cognitive maps 
are an example and concrete expression of the IsraeliPalestinian 
conflict. The study of the maps shows how both sides relate their own 
narrative of the conflict while ignoring the other side. The universal 
principle regarding maps used in the sphere of education states that "my 
map is educational - your map is propaganda.

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