EARTH

REPAINTED

Every epic tale starts with a map.

This one is of us, but reprojected.

MAP PLATES

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A DIFFERENT KIND OF ATLAS

Atlas Altera is a cartographic exercise in alternate history for reimagining a modern world where cultural differences flourish despite the predominance of the nation-state. The atlas is described using an approach inspired by the tradition of chorography or regional geography, more in line with that of Carl Ritter than Vidal de la Blache or Friedrich Ratzel. And though it is grounded in history, the project diverges in that, as Aristotle observed in poetry, instead of depicting things that have been or as they are, it describes things that might be.

In recognizing the power of the political map to invigorate and erase, and in being pragmatic with territoriality, Atlas Altera makes use of the nation-state as a base unit to illuminate the diversities in our own timeline—peoples and their languages, knowledges, wisdoms, practices, traditions, beliefs—which everyday threaten to vanish. Unlike irredentist fantasies, Atlas Altera is about making room for those that lost out in the drawing up of borders. It makes space for marginalized cultures and populations. The project stems from a belief much like Richard Rorty’s, that to take meaningful action is to depict the past in new ways. Here, it is not just the past but all that exists which is renewed.

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Videos & Podcast Episodes

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in the map room! 

Explanations - Marginalia - Etymologies

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THE BACKDROP IS THE STORY

Those who hold a map of the world in their hands are masters and conquerors, knowing borders, subjects, and commodities.

Those who draw that map hold a different sort of potential.

Atlas Altera is a syntopian fiction that leverages the cliché political map

to reimagine how diversity and co-existence can take shape, all the while building from real but buried geographies.

 

Encounter difference and discover common ground.

Learn and unlearn.

 
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RADICAL

POLITICAL

IMAGINARIES

In the strange yet familiar world of Altera, borders are redrawn and history reimagined. Hundreds of new states make it onto the political map.

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THE WORLD

REINVENTED

With new alternate political constellations, the world's landmasses are divvied up to form a dazzling array of new geographies.

POSSIBILITIES OF DIVERSITY &

MULTIPLICITY

Defying ideas of modernity and globalization, Altera emerges as a world of a thousand and one nations, championing 15% of the world's existing languages and representing over 150 language families.