Things I do
I ask people to draw maps...
· Draw the World
· Draw Europe's nations
· Crowdsourced Continent maps
I make map cards:
· See map cards
· Buy map cards
And other things I write about:
· Little moments from travel
· London art & museums
· Football with foreign fans
· London shop geography
About this blog
I may have asked you to draw me a map - have a look around, they're all here somewhere.
I recently saw Satellites, an exhibition of photography by Jonas Bendiksen at the PM House & Gallery in Ealing.
Satellites is about states that do not actually exist, particularly those in the former Soviet region. When the USSR broke up in the 1990s, 15 'new' countries emerged. However, political and ethnic tensions also led to a number of less well-known and unrecognised states, such as Abkhazia and Transdniester.
Bendiksen spent seven years journeying in these places, culminating in an amazing set of photographs.
I especially liked the photos which showed solitary individual figures set in huge, vast landscapes, like these below. The first shows a little girl (you can barely see her) amongst large Soviet-style buildings. The second shows Tanya, a babooshka, outside large Soviet blocks of flats.
The impression was of these small, unrecognised nations trying to find their way amongst big super-powers and massive international and global structures.
Equally fascinating, and on the same theme, were his images of local people in the area where rockets and spacecraft are crashed in the Kazakh steppe. Locals here pillage the craft for scrap. Again, they seem like solitary people getting by in vast structures.
The exhibition continues until 9 August. Satellites is also available as a book.
Last night I went to see Grace Jones in concert at Somerset House - it was amazing. There was a costume change for every song, or rather I should say a hat change. She was wearing a fabulous set of hats. They included:
- a fascinator feather with alien bug-eye lights
- full-moon centurion style circle
- Hat in the shape of Angor Wat
- Space age Virgin Mary get-up in a washing machine extraction tube
- Giant copper bowl with matching cymbals
- Bug-eyed alien mask
- Gold alopecia feathered Cleopatra
- Cabaret circus ring master
- A diamond-encrusted cocoon
- Big leaf, with Zaha Hadid style swoop
- Bug tentacles & antelope horns
- Flashing blue sunglasses
- Disco ball bowler hat with lasers
- And finally she emerged wearing a Christmas decoration on her head.
Highlights of the night were when Grace exclaimed "Jesus! What's with the yellow light?" and "No fan's gonna fuck up my hula hoop" before hula-hooping while singing Slave to the Rhythm.
Here's a rubbish video of a little bit: