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Bjørn Sletto, Joe Bryan, Alfredo Wagner, and Charles Hale

Mar 9, 2022

Radical Cartographies

Participatory Mapmaking from Latin America

University of Texas Press 2020

Cartography has a troubled history as a technology of power. The production and distribution of maps, often understood to be ideological representations that support the interests of their developers, have served as tools of colonization, imperialism, and global development, advancing Western notions of space and place at the expense of indigenous peoples and other marginalized communities. But over the past two decades, these marginalized populations have increasingly turned to participatory mapping practices to develop new, innovative maps that reassert local concepts of place and space, thus harnessing the power of cartography in their struggles for justice. 

In twelve essays written by community leaders, activists, and scholars, Radical Cartographies: Participatory Mapmaking from Latin America (U Texas Press, 2020) critically explores the ways in which participatory mapping is being used by indigenous, Afro-descendant, and other traditional groups in Latin America to preserve their territories and cultural identities. Through this pioneering volume, Bjørn Sletto, Joe Bryan, Alfredo Wagner, and Charles Hale fundamentally rethink the role of maps, with significant lessons for marginalized communities across the globe, and launch a unique dialogue about the radical edge of a new social cartography.

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