Home Towards a subjective collective cartography

Atlas of Brussels ?

TOWARDS : to carry out of an atlas of Brussels taking up various maps: real, imaginary, artistic, anecdotal, psychological, geographic, town planning, amateur, professional, regional, local, etc

Drawing maps. Several of us take an interest in it, be it to develop plans for the city, to put memories together, to assert a political, social, cultural or economical position or to file projects… The truth is, there are as many possibilities to map out the territory of Brussels as there are cartographers who enter into the spirit of the game: one will inventory the places that are equipped with surveillance cameras, the other will note down different skateboard spots, yet another one will map out the way users seize the public space… Strollers “annotate” the streets with their current thoughts and sensations. An occasional visitor builds an imaginary landscape of Brussels according to the places she visited during her stay and to the links that made her go from one to another… British bureaucrats design mental maps that schematise their view of the city… When the most conventional reduce the material space to its bidimensional representation, others try to “give back substance” to this abstract spatiality by adding to it customary, imaginary, mental, anecdotal or metaphorical referents. The boldest even go up to becoming liberated from the spatial standards so as to formalize personal experiences…

With the passing weeks, months, years, new faces of Brussels would see the light of day and a new form of memory would take shape: the memory of urban struggles, of unofficial interventions, of association positivism, of the richness of the actors of Brussels…

The memory of a new vision, far from tourist clichés and community negotiation. Such is the interest of developing advisory and collaborative instruments of subjective cartography: comparing those various faces of Brussels with the more official or statutory maps that divide the capital of today, confronting them to the latter or including them to it.

Question of classification: In order to develop an atlas of Brussels, which standards must be set up to classify in a relevant way those maps of heterogeneous kinds? Besides, if the aim is to display the plurality of cartographical approaches, is it truly necessary to set up such standards?