Colloquy “Cartographier les récits”

Some of the participants of the Colloquy on "Cartographier les récits"

Some of the participants of the Colloquy on “Cartographier les récits”

Last May, the Art & Cartography commission organized a colloquy in Montreal within the context of the 82nd acfas conference (Association francophone pour le savoir). During this two days event (May 12-13, 2014), 25 students, professors and researchers from geography, cartography, literature, sociology and anthropology got together to discuss (in French) issues around mapping different kinds of stories such as historical stories, everyday life stories, stories of refugees, stories from films and from novels. The title of the colloquy was “Cartographier les récits : enjeux méthodologiques et technologiques” (full program available here). The presentations and discussions were very stimulating and will be continued…



Special issue of CAJ on Cartography and Narrative

Table_of_ContentThe special issue of The Cartographic journal on “Cartography and Narratives” is now available online. This Special Issue provides a cartographic point of view on the relationships between cartography and narratives. As stated in the introduction (Caquard and Cartwright 2014, 102):

“This cartographic point of view is envisioned from two perspectives. The first is where maps are used to represent the spatial structures of stories. Cartographic projects associated with this approach use maps to locate elements from all types of stories (i.e. fictional or factual). In this special issue, this category is illustrated by papers that address the mapping of oral indigenous stories (Wickens Pearce), the cartographic representation of fictional places that appear in novels (Weber-Reuschel, Piatti and Hurni) and the mapping of a tragic event with deep emotional dimensions (Roberts). The second perspective refers to the narrative power of the map. In this special issue the narrative emerges from the mining of geolocated photographs (Straumann, Çöltekin and Andrienko), as well as from the critical analysis of alternative atlases (Cattoor and Perkins).”

Finally this special issue also include a linking essay by Denis Wood in which the author

“…was not only able to handle the impossible task of stitching together the various stimulating ideas developed in all of these papers, but he turned them into a great academic story about childhood, ideas, concepts, memory and nostalgia.” (Caquard and Cartwright 2014, 105)

Motorville: Animated maps at their best

MotorvilleMotorville is short animated movie (directed by Patrick Jean) in which the main character is an online map (that looks very much like a Google map, although according to the credits it is based on OpenStreetMaps) that turns into a giant in search for its oil fix… This is an extremely well designed animated film in which the intimate (and frightening) relationships between online mapping services and our car/oil addiction is brought to the fore in a clever, poetic and penetrating manner. Thanks to Florence Troin for pointing me to this great movie.

MDMD – An experimental short-film on cartography

MDMDThe idea of producing a short film on cartography and narrative started in June 2012 during a workshop in ETH Zurich, and is now shaping up nicely. Artists and filmmakers have been working in collaboration with Barbara Piatti and others and have just released the trailer for this experimental short-film.

The project is a mockumentary suggesting a secret research in the dark dungeons of ETH Zurich. One of Switzerlands most important cartographers, Prof Ed Imhof went out for an expedition into the Peruvian Andes, to measure some mountains. However, during his excursion an event unforeseen must have occurred and he started to question the role of cartography for the people…

To learn more about this amazing cartographic story, WATCH THE TRAILER

Appel à communication “Cartographie et récits”, Montréal, 12-13 mai 2014

This colloquy is organised by the art and cartography commission. All the presentations and discussions will be in French since it is part of the “Association canadienne-française pour l’avancement des sciences.” For questions, please contact sebastien.caquard@concordia.ca

Cartographier les récits : enjeux méthodologiques et technologiques

82e congrès de l’ACFAS, Université Concordia, Montréal (QC) / 12-13 mai 2014

Colloque organisé par Sébastien Caquard (Université Concordia) et Thierry Joliveau (Université J. Monnet de Saint-Etienne)

Appel à communications

Depuis les travaux fondateurs de Franco Moretti (1999) en cartographie littéraire, il est apparu possible de cartographier des objets aussi porteurs de subjectivité que des personnages de roman. De la carte du Tendre que Madeleine de Scudéry adjoint à son roman en 1654 au Discours sur les passions de l’amour qui sous-titre le Guide psychogéographique de Paris de Guy Debord en 1957, on repère une nécessité de cartographier des affects et des sentiments, d’organiser spatialement des récits personnels, qu’ils soient fictionnels ou non. L’apparition des outils numériques et les moyens de géolocalisation semblent changer techniquement la donne. L’engouement pour les activités dites néogéographiques s’est accompagné de la mise à disposition d’un nombre croissant d’applications sur Internet spécialement dédiées à la cartographie des récits (ex. http://storymaps.esri.com; www.tripline.net; http://mapstory.org/). Un  internaute peut désormais recourir à ces outils pour spatialiser toutes sortes de récits qu’ils soient fictionnels ou documentaire, individuels ou collectifs, présents ou passés, anecdotiques ou symboliques. Un premier examen des récits cartographiques produits avec ces outils confirme l’inadaptation de la cartographie conventionnelle (numérique ou non) pour représenter les dimensions sensibles des récits. La projection sur un fond topographique et le respect de l’espace euclidien apparaissent souvent réducteurs. De nombreux auteurs proposent donc de se tourner vers des modes d’expressions cartographiques alternatifs, souvent inspirés de pratiques artistiques, pour représenter les dimensions émotionnelles, politiques et sociales de certains récits.

L’objectif de ce colloque est de permettre aux chercheurs en sciences sociales, aux artistes, journalistes ou communicants intéressés par la cartographie des récits de prendre connaissance des récents développements technologiques, conceptuels et méthodologiques qui ont émergé depuis quelques années dans ce domaine. Ces présentations de projets et retours d’expériences seront accompagnés d’échanges et de discussions visant à apporter des éléments de réponses à certaines des questions auxquelles est actuellement confrontée la cartographie des récits. Quels sont les atouts et limites des approches numériques pour une cartographie du sensible ? Les nouveaux capteurs permettant l’enregistrement automatique et objectif d’éléments de récits ouvrent-ils un espace à une expression personnelle des affects et de l’émotion ? Quelles sont les potentialités offertes par les approches cartographiques artistiques ? Comment jongler cartographiquement entre un espace abstrait et imaginaire et un espace concret et topographique ? C’est autour de ces questions méthodologiques, technologiques et conceptuelles que nous proposons de structurer ce colloque.

Soumission des propositions de communications :

Ce colloque est ouvert aux chercheurs, étudiants, artistes et professionnels intéressés à présenter leurs travaux relatifs à la cartographie des récits. Toutes les personnes intéressées sont invitées à soumettre un résumé (500 mots maximum) décrivant clairement le projet. La date limite de soumission des résumés est le 31 janvier 2014. Les résumés doivent être envoyés par courriel aux deux co-organisateurs du colloque : thierry.joliveau@univ-st-etienne.fr et sebastien.caquard@concordia.ca

Note : une version courte des résumés retenus devra être envoyée par la suite pour être intégrée dans le programme officiel du colloque.


  • 23 Décembre 2013 : Diffusion de l’appel à communication
  • 31 janvier 2014 : Date limite de soumission des résumés par les participants
  • 15 février : Notification de l’acceptation (ou non) des propositions soumises
  • 20 février : Soumission des versions courtes des résumés (1,500 caractères, espaces inclus) par les participants
  • 28 février : Soumission du programme complet du colloque par les organisateurs
  • 12-13 mai : Tenu du colloque (note : le colloque se tiendra sur un ou deux jours dépendamment du nombre de communications retenues).

N’hésitez pas à nous contacter si vous avez besoin d’informations complémentaires.


Thierry Joliveau et Sébastien Caquard

Locating the Moving Image

9780253011053_medThe book entitled “Locating the Moving Image: New Approaches to Film and Place” edited by Julia Hallam and Les Roberts has just been released. It includes 11 chapters exploring the relationships between films and places through maps from a variety of perspectives. This truly interdisciplinary project provides an extensive overview of the ways scholars in film studies, geography, cartography, history, and communication studies have mapped films.

Topics include cinematic practices in rural and urban communities, development of cinema by amateur filmmakers, and use of GIS in mapping the spatial development of film production and cinema going as social practices.

Arts & Carto at ICC 2013

The Art & Cartography commission will be quite active during The 26th International Cartography Conference (ICC 2013) which is starting in Dresden (Germany). We are organizing a few events:

– A pre-conference workshop on Maps and Games (in collaboration with the Maps and Society Commission), including a Playground Gaming Session on August 25th, 2013 at 13:30 (TU Dresden))  (More details here);

– A few paper sessions on Arts & Cartography (see full programme of the conference);

– The first screening of our collective film entitled “MDMD – A Multi Dimentional Mapping Device” on Wednesday August 28th, 2013 at 12:15 (hall 1)

– The business meeting of our commission on Tuesaday Aug. 27th, 2013 at 14:45 (room C5).

– And more…

Emotional cartography of migrations

arton50258-ecc26This fascinating cartographic project aims to allow asylum seekers to develop personal maps of their migration experience. This project started with the frustration of Sarah Mekdjian, a geographer from Université de Grenoble (France), “to see maps where migrants were reduced to basic arrows” (although on the same thematic of migration, Philippe Rekacewicz has developped some interesting cartographic representations, including some with basic arrows…). Anyway, she decided to organize some workshops of creative cartography with another colleague geographer, three artists and 12 asylum seekers. The goal of this project: “To open a space of exchange with the migrants. Not only through interviews, but in a different way than the administrative questioning migrants are systematically exposed when seeking asylum. To tell things through different means, more creatives. To not just tell the facts – where were you, at which moment, at what time – but to develop a more emotional approach” (translation mine).

To some extent, this project reminds me the project of “cartographie sensible” by Else Olmédo.

Merci Violaine pour m’avoir aiguillé vers ce projet!

Narrating Place

A first outcome of the Narrative Cartography workshop organized in June 2012 at ETH Zurich by the Art and Cartography commission is a curated film by Matthew Bissen, Paul Ritchard and Laurene Vaughan. This film entitled “Narrating Place” is an international collaboration that currently combines 21 short movies of 45 seconds each:

“The aim of Narrating Place is to explore through a series of 45 second video pieces, a diversity of ways of narrating the experience and representation of place.  The phenomenon of place is a rich concept rooted in how we perceive and conceive our environment.  This is a concept which deserves continual critical and exploratory work to develop ways to understand how, through spatial and subjective experience we narrate a particular place. Individuals were invited to contribute to this work based on the curatorial team’s knowledge of their work and interest in the subjective representation of place. The invited participants come from the Americas, Europe and Australasia. The outcome is this rich mix will result in a unique commentary on and contribution to the affective cartographies of place.” (http://narratingplace.info/?page_id=87)

Here is for instance the contribution of Taien Ng-Chan entitled “Streets of the Saints

The film, edited by Paul Ritchard, is currently screened at RMIT in Melbourne Australia (until the end of May 2013), then it will be screened at the International Cartographic Conference in Dresden (Germany) in August 2013.