>Off the map


In the spirit of David Černý‘s (in)famous Entropa installation (above) – which was in many ways the best thing about the ill-fated Czech presidency of the EU a while back unless you are a big fan of the Eastern Partnership – Bulgarian visual artist, graphic designer and illustrator Yanko Tsvetkov has come up a series of maps of Europe mapping the (supposed) prejudices of various nations (US, Brits, French, Germans and, Bulgarians, naturally) and, for some reason, also of gay men. Not inappropriately, the series seems to have been flagged by The Daily Telegraph.

Europe according to the Brits – Why are we always depicted as nation of europhobes? … possibly because we are?

Europe as seen by the French: Zut alors! Does this have the ring of truth?

A similar Europe-As-Seen-By-Estonians (that’s ethnic majority Estonians, I think) appeared on You Tube a while back (see below) – marvellous line about ‘…the country where Bjork and dragons live in harmony’.

And, of course, there is much weird and truly wonderful stuff on the Strange Maps blog (now also a book) such as the invaluable map of European alcohol belts (beer vs. wine vs. spiritis) – note the interesting beer/wine cleavages running through Northern France and the apparant identification of wine-drinking with ethnic Hungarians (although they should perhaps have marked South Moravia  in the Czech Republic more prominently as wine enclave) and Croatia seems oddly to have slipped into the beer zone.

Europe’s alcohol belts (from Strange Maps)

The venerable tradition of satirical map making – covered by the excellent just closed British Library exhibition – is it seems to be alive and kick and taking over from straight political analysis.

Updates: As my SSEES colleague Eric Gordy notes, you can also get this type of analysis in fuller tabular form and, Catherine Baker informs over Facebook, the slightly neglected Croats have produced a map of their own . Oddly, they seem to remember us in terms of the British Empire, but  so much discussion about British politics betrays a  subconscious obsession with our fall from imperial superpower status, I guess that’s OK.

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