Through a series of subjective atlases alternative views are developed towards political entities that lack a nuanced representation in the media. Since 2003 designer Annelys de Vet and associates are developing these publications that are ‘mapping’ a country, region or political entity on a personal way by it’s inhabitants themselves. They are invited to map their country in their own way; political, critical, culinary, romantic, negative or positive. Personal involvement as a starting point, with the aim to produce human, unconventional and ‘honest’ images.
The different subjective atlases present a picture of what a mixed group of artists, designers, photographers and other sensitive souls at a certain point in time consider important about their country. They have chosen subjects close to their hearts to use as starting points in investigating their cultural identity. When you look more closely, though, you find that these personal observations are less random than you initially might have thought. Each individual story in the atlases is urgent in its own right, and not only because the creators would not have selected them otherwise. They lay bare the consequences of political change, but discreetly, implicitly, and not as a goal in itself. The uncommon connections made in the various visual inventories and maps reveal things that usually remain invisible. In the context of the atlas, everyday practices suddenly take on new meanings.
The growing series of subjective atlases are an attempt to make meaningful contributions to the discourse around cultural image formation, in a creative, disarming and sensitive yet critical way. The atlases serve as a humanist response to the increasing simplification of the political debate and the complacency of power. The books show, above all, a complex reality that lies beyond simplistic, blinding media images. This potent series of alternative, copyright-free images can serve as an inspiring, freely available tool people can use to critically question the apparently objective.
We are currently in negotiation
to set up the:
— Subjective Atlas of Colombia
— Subjective Atlas of Portugal
— Subjective Atlas of Groningen
168, Rue Emile Féron
1060 Brussel, Belgium