Critical cartography as anarchist pedagogy? Ideas for praxis inspired by the 56a infoshop map archive

Article


Firth, R. 2014. Critical cartography as anarchist pedagogy? Ideas for praxis inspired by the 56a infoshop map archive. Interface : a journal for and about social movements. 16 (1), pp. 156-184.
AuthorsFirth, R.
Abstract

Critical cartography is a methodology and pedagogy that begins from the premise that maps are embodiments of power. It advocates utopian possibilities for other mapping practices, providing tools for communities to spatially illustrate their struggles whilst reconstituting social bonds through collective knowledge production. Whilst critical cartographers gesture towards activist initiatives, a lot of the literature focuses mainly on theory and is light on alternative practices, failing to explore their pedagogical and transformative value. Furthermore, those literatures that do study practice tend to focus on ‘counter-mapping’, for example enabling indigenous communities to make resource claims. Such practices undoubtedly have progressive uses but have also been criticized for investing in dominant spatial practice and for perpetuating exclusions and hierarchies. This paper argues for a critical cartographic practice based on an anarchist ethos of anti- rather than counter-hegemony, drawing ideas of cartographic pedagogy as affect,
affinity and performativity.
Furthermore it argues that such practices already exist and ought to be expanded. Using David Graeber’s ethnographic methodology of ‘utopian extrapolation’ the paper will draw on material found in the ‘map archive’ of the 56a infoshop in London to begin to inspire and imagine an anarchist cartographic pedagogy.

Keywordscartography; pedagogy; anarchism
JournalInterface : a journal for and about social movements
Journal citation16 (1), pp. 156-184
ISSN2009 – 2431
Year2014
PublisherNational University of Ireland Maynooth
Publisher's version
License
CC BY-NC-SA
Web address (URL)http://www.interfacejournal.net/2014/06/interface-volume-6-issue-1-movement-pedagogies/
Publication dates
Print01 May 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited07 Jul 2014
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/85q12

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