Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Memory Map of Malta

Whilst in London, I drew a map of Malta from memory. It was a way of capturing all my idealistic images of home from overseas. These would be erased on my return, by immersion into research and by the reality I would be faced with (which often is a sharper but less beautiful version of a memory). The map is distorted by nostalgia (homesickness), it is completely inaccurate.

(click on the image to enlarge)

As I drew it I began to feel quite uncomfortable. I started to realize that it reveals more about me than about Malta, and the thought of ever showing it to a Maltese person made me uncomfortable, for they would be able to read all sorts of things about me by looking at the map. The map shows the areas of the island that I know well, and hold dear revealing my social class, first language, clues to my family history, interests,...

Since this map is my version of Malta - and since I don't want the project to be completely from my perspective - I decided to get the map corrected, so that it slowly became the Maltese* version of Malta. I made 10 copies of the map and went home equipped with a tape recorder, red marker pens and a lot of time and patience. I would ask as many people as possible to draw their version of the map over mine.

keep reading the blog to know what happened next...

*I say "Maltese" for lack of a better word. I wish to use a word that does not in any way exclude people who live in Malta, or consider Malta their home, but are not defined as "Maltese". However I chose to use "Maltese" because it contrasts with previous versions of Malta that were presented by colonisers, because I hope to give value to the "Maltese" perspective by mapping it.

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