History of a Map

mapping-stereotypes-in-sueddeutsche-zeitung

When one of the visitors to my photo stream in Flickr told me Süddeutsche Zeitung published my European map, I wasn’t only surprised, I was genuinely shocked.

The map is among the type of work I do spontaneously and without a certain purpose. I can’t recall exactly why and how I made it, I just remember it was during the winter, in one of the most severe gas crisis Europe has ever known and the news reports obviously had some influence but it wasn’t a serious, deliberate attempt to be politically provocative. I uploaded it to Flickr exchanging few laughs with my online friends and that was all I ever expected from it.

Strangely, a month later it began accumulating visits from various social network sites. Then the blogosphere kicked in. It culminated in a feature in Boing Boing which made me glue myself to the screen, following the statistics in Flickr. It was really something I hadn’t experienced before – it can be seen in this short video, made of screenshots of accumulating views. For a period of 15 minutes, it got more than 2000 views.

I still kept on asking myself what’s so interesting about this map. It sure is funny (to me) and a bit provocative (to other people) but If I had known it would become my most popular image online gathering almost 200,000 views, I would have certainly made it much better. But maybe that’s how the Internet works – no matter what plans you make or whether or not you think something is worthy of your public’s attention, such things can’t be predicted. What’s left for you is to just enjoy the party, even if some people in the room look rather suspicious. Like those who think I was paid by the CIA to participate in anti Russian propaganda.

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