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Enough hate mail with complaints I discriminate against Spain and all the wonderful prejudices that exist in this country about the rest of Europe. After Iberia According to Spain few weeks ago, here comes the real deal. As usual, I strongly suggest taking it with a sense of humor. You don’t want to be like the guy who wrote to me yesterday saying “Fuck you, Sicily is not only Somalia and mafia.” That would mean you totally missed the point, in which case I suggest you take a look at the entire Mapping Stereotypes collection. You’ll be even more offended. :)
The upside of spending more than a year working on a digital collage artwork is you can play with the results for another 10, caught in a constant loop of inspiration. The Trinity is among my dearest creations, one I can never get tired revisiting, rethinking or just playing around with its elements like a child would play with a colorful puzzle.
It usually starts with minor iterations. I open the original to make a cropped version for a product or a banner, or simply to export a jpg file with a different size. And then I start looking at it. When I come back to my senses, I realize I have spent hours with it, clicking, lifting up layers, tracing elements…
The last time it happened, it lasted for 3 days. I ended up with a remastered version of the original, 4 variations and one completely new artwork that spontaneously appeared out of the blue.
Here are the first two variations: Trinity in Mono, a stripped down version of the foreground composition and The Birth of Rhythm, a variation based on the elements of the background.
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Update: I got so carried away writing the text below that I forgot to mention this map is part of my Mapping Stereotypes project. Wrap it in its context, please. :)
It was about time to make a map of Europe according to Greece because as things are going, the country might disappear very soon. At least as we know it.
I think what is happening today in Greece and all Southern Mediterranean Europe can be properly described as a clash of civilizations. You’ve probably heard the statement that Greece is the cradle of Western Civilization. That’s bollocks. What we refer to Western Civilization today can be much better described as a Protestant Entrepreneur Civilization, and it definitely lies to the North, rather than the West.
Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece have a very different tradition, one that unites them in a league of their own. The similarities are so strong they even transcend the usual Catholic vs Orthodox divide. Down here, on the shores of the Mediterranean, people don’t spend their time trying to invent ways to keep themselves busy working, so they can save enough money for a monthly vacation and escape a nasty depressing weather. Here the Sun shines quite often and people are more interested in having fun. One might argue whether too much heaven is healthy for you but the fact is undeniable.
It’s really striking how something as basic as sunlight can affect society on such a fundamental level. It’s also striking how misunderstood this correlation is. The Germans and French blame the Greeks they are lazy. That’s very true but I think if you magically could relocate the entire German nation on the Aegean islands and leave them to boil on the white rocks for about 50 years, you will end up with a society pretty similar to the one that inhabits the area today.
Of course the misunderstanding runs both ways, Greeks are equally unable to understand the Northern motivation and way of life, hence they thought faking accounting reports for the honor to join the Euro will go unpunished forever.
Europe is a really inspiring continent, isn’t it? Now let’s see how global warming will stir things up in the next 100 years. I promise you won’t ever get bored. :)
Last week when I featured The Penis Size by Country World Map I forgot to mention that I felt slightly disappointed because half of the data about Europe was suspiciously missing from the visualization. Surprisingly enough, when I checked the source link, I found out there was plenty of statistic for the blank fields. I extracted all the data for Europe, structured it accordingly and guess what… the nation with the biggest penis size in Europe is… Hungary. It really sounds too good to be true. :) But you know, like I already said, take this with several grains of salt because half of the data is “self reported”. And with men and penis size… you know what that means.
Doing further research on the matter, I discovered a dedicated Wikipedia article which claims that not all cultures were obsessed with size. In fact, the article says, in Ancient Greece, people preferred a small uncut penis. That explains pretty well why their nude statues are so modest in that area. Nobody really knows when exactly Western civilization switched to the current supersize-mania but a quote from the Bible may give you a hint:
She lusted after lovers with genitals as large as a donkey’s and emissions like those of a horse. (Ezekiel 23:18–20)
That’s what I would call passionate metaphors. Anyway, here’s all you need to know:
- 16+ cm: 1. Hungary (16.51), 2. France (16.01)
- 15.5-16 cm 3. Czech Republic (15.89), 4. The Netherlands (15.87), 5. Italy (15.74), 6. Belgium (15.65), 7. Georgia (15.61)
- 15-15.5 cm: 8. Denmark (15.29), 9. Slovakia (15.21), 10. Slovenia (15.13), 11. Bulgaria (15.02)
- 14.5-15 cm: 12. Serbia (14.87), 13. Sweden (14.80), 14. Croatia (14.77), 15. Greece (14.73), 15. Albania (14.73), 17. Belarus (14.63), 18. Iceland (14.56)
- 14-14.5 cm: 19. Germany (14.48), 20. Switzerland (14.35), 21. Norway (14.34), 22. Poland (14.29), 23. Austria (14.16), 24. Turkey (14.11)
- 13.5-14 cm: 25. Macedonia (13.98), 26. Ukraine (13.97), 26. United Kingdom (13.97), 28. Spain (13.85), 29. Estonia (13.78), 30. Finland (13.77)
- 13-13.5 cm: 31. Armenia (13.22), 32. Russia (13.21), 33. Portugal (13.19)
- 12.5-13 cm: 34. Ireland (12.78), 35. Romania (12.73)
- No Data: Andorra, Bosnia Herzegovina, Cyprus, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, San Marino
So there we go ladies, gentlemen and size addicts – a fully functional map application displaying countries according to the penis size of their male subjects. Splendid, eh? No, it’s not my creation and yes, it is rather hilarious but after all, not that surprising. Everybody who ever bought a Chinese condom suspects who’s at the bottom of the chart and if you ever got a glimpse of interracial porn you shouldn’t have doubts about the top ten either. The source of the data is a bit shrouded in mystery (I am suspicious about the “self-reported” details) and there are a lot of omissions on the map but even if the whole thing is a joke, it’s worth a laugh or two.
A lot of people ask me when I will make a map of Europe according to Spain. The answer is complicated, partly because I actually live in Spain. It’s not that I’m afraid somebody will set my flat on fire or beat me up in the local pub, it’s just that the closer you examine a country, the more difficult it is to simplify things.
Another reason is that Spain is not something particularly coherent, it’s more like a cause than a real country. Trying to fit all its nuances in a single frame gives me a headache. However, there is one thing I can totally gossip about without feeling confused and that’s food. Spanish food is an amazing amalgam of some wonderful and some less enchanting things. My all time favorite – Spanish tortilla. It’s pure culinary poetry: simple, juicy, filling and delicious. The second one is chistorra. The third one – tortilla with chistorras (pictured above).
But there are some disappointments too and apart from seafood, which I absolutely hate regardless of origin, they are mainly in the confectionery department. According to my observation, the Spanish are a little bit addicted to sugar. For a start, I still have a problem finding simple soda water that isn’t sweetened. I was a little bit cautious in my generalization until yesterday when I found a really reliable source to confirm my suspicions. Mikel Lopez Iturriaga, a culinary blogger, wrote a rather harsh article titled ¿Por qué los cruasanes españoles son tan malos? basically blaming Spanish bakers for ruining the croissant by not following proper recipes and drowning it in sticky sugar coatings. Here’s a summary of the article in English.
It’s all true and also a little bit sad for people like me who enjoy having a simple croissant with simple soda water.