Title: A New Cartography of Africa: Alternative maps lift the “unseen” of Africa
Author: Ntone Edjabe, Founder, Chimurenga
Voices from the South E-Newsletter: March 2015
In March 2015, African publishing houses Chimurenga (South Africa) and Kwani? (Kenya) finalized a joint project that explored the links between contemporary Africa, the maps we use to show it, and how these maps don’t always reflect what is actually happening on the ground for Africans. The project was based primarily on the following questions: If the maps that we use today to understand Africa were a by-product, tool, and result of imperialism, what would happen if Africans instead created maps for their own use? How would this shift the perception Africans have of themselves and how they make life on the continent? How can these maps make visible African’s own realities or imaginations?
In this month’s “Voices from the South,” the founder and editor of Chimurenga, Ntone Edjabe, writes about the project, and the eight alternative maps that are being launched this month across Africa. He explores especially how the process of creating these “alternative cartographies” opened up the imaginations of the cartographers to highlight Africa’s own evolving narratives.
The text can be downloaded as a PDF and is found below.