Written by Michailangelos Vlassis-Ziakas
Concept, archive: Michailangelos Vlassis-Ziakas
Map programming: Io Dogani
Mapping Utopia is an interactive web map which suggests a critical exploration of the utopian imaginary. The project explores utopias as means of disruption, as imaginaries setting forward processes of conflict, exclusion and violence, through their positioning an “other” as the obstacle standing in the way of their utopian realization.
The geographical features of the imaginary island, as described by Thomas More in the book Of A Republic’s Best State And Of The New Island Utopia (1516), were used to create a variation of the utopian island on the basis of the real map of the Balkan peninsula. Images found on the internet regarding events such as state warfare, urban conflict, concentration camps, ideologically and religiously-motivated terrorist attacks, etc., which took place in the Balkan peninsula, are classified according to the utopian imaginary which motivated them.
Thus the dystopic events brought about by utopian imaginaries appear to draw the map of the troubled Balkan geography.