GEO: 707 ABSTRACT Submitted by Priyanka Ghosh

John Pickles’ book A History of Spaces is a thoughtful study about map and mapping, about their objectivity and subjectivity, power, nature and usages in the contemporary world. This book also talks about deconstruction of maps, critical cartography and how the objectivity of the maps is questioned. It examines” how, historically, maps have reached deep into social imaginaries to code the modern world’. Maps convey some message to its readers. The magic and power of the maps let us see the world in terms of others. We see the world how “others have seen it”. Maps as objective and scientific tool of real world are myth and at this crucial point critical cartography steps in. Denis Wood has criticized the neutrality and objectivity of maps and argues that maps reflect the certain group interest and it is concerned with capitalist expansion project. Therefore the question is that how do we interpret and read a map. As map always shows selective interests, we need to understand the underlying political and economical factors of such selectivity. At this point we need deconstruction and alternative mapping strategies— construction and reconstruction of map to perceive the masked interests of the producers. The central theme of this book is decoding the maps with respect to social context. It simultaneously argues for an alternative to “Enlightenment cartography” (e.g. postmodern cartography) with more openness in “everyday and professional practice”. This deconstruction or critical cartography not only decodes the “Enlightenment cartography” but also asks this question about existing cartography and argues for a new implication of mapping for powerless ordinary people for broader social benefits.

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