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(Project in Master's degree, in 2017)

One of my first courses at the Estonian Academy of Arts started with a two-day hike to the outskirts of Tallinn. The aim was to introduce an international group of students to the diverse character of the urban context framing their studies. As such, whilst partly defined by the 53km distance covered, the journey could just as easily be described in terms of the conversations that filled the time taken to do so. I was curious to experiment with mapping practices that would effectively engage both the means and ends of this experience.

I created two maps detailing the first languages of Tallinn’s population. On one, I plotted relevant statistical data, on the other, the word ‘mother’ repeated in each language covered by the study and in a size corresponding to the percentage of citizens who speak it. Thus, the maps each provide certain information, but only make full sense when they are themselves read in dialogue. In this way the representation of data and methodology for engaging with it cannot be separated, complicating the traditional authority of fixed points on a stable surface and encouraging the same sorts of relational meaning-making the walk was designed to explore.

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