The Decolonial Atlas, started in 2014, is an attempt to bring together maps which, in some way, challenge our relationships with the land, people, and state. It is based on the premise that there is no such thing as “truth” in cartography. Only interpretation. The orientation of a map, its projection, the presence of political borders, what features are included or excluded, and the language used to label a map are all subject to the map-maker’s agenda. Because most maps in use today serve to reinforce colonial understandings of the Earth, we are consciously creating maps which help us to re-imagine the world – to decolonize.
The Decolonial Atlas is currently working to produce several maps, including:
- Abya Yala – A map of the Western Hemisphere solely labeled with indigenous place names – A collaboration with hundreds of indigenous language speakers from Chile to Alaska.
- lutruwita – A map of Tasmania in palawa kani, the aboriginal Tasmanian language – A collaboration with the Tasmanian Aboriginal Center.
- A map of the Southeastern United States in the Euchee Language – A collaboration with the Savannah River Band of Euchee Indians
- A History of Biocultural Extinctions – A map of the locations of extinct species and extinct indigenous languages in North America – A collaboration with Terralingua
If you are a cartographer, an indigenous language speaker, or would like to help in any way with these projects, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org