My time spent volunteering at the Stuart Hall Library has been a fantastic experience. I have met so many helpful and supportive people who have aided me in my undergraduate study at the University of Westminster where I have just graduated with first-class honours in BA Contemporary Media Practice.
The opportunity to produce source notes as a guide to the Library’s unique collection based on the theme of ‘Geography, Space and Place’ enabled me to extend my research interests in cultural identity to consider the environments in which identity and cultural understanding are constructed. The importance of this came as such in my last year of study when writing my dissertation and producing my major project in which I explored the history and heritage of Britain in the rural space, and the experience of migration and new settlements from the late 20th Century to the present day. I intend to continue researching the relationship between geography, space and place, and how differing geographic locations produce varied concepts of national, cultural and racial belonging and identification.
With the help of general guidelines, I was able to freely select which material would be included in the guide. I made my selection based upon texts which helped me to understand the subject area as a newcomer, and those which I felt would be useful for others similarly exploring this subject area for the first time. I was stunned at the range of theoretic and artistic engagement in the collection and have included a select few examples ranging from general overviews to in-depth critical theory, stimulating artist works and also engaging panel discussions, each categorised accordingly.
Key themes which came out from researching Geography, Space and Place were to do with the structures of power in mapmaking and the limitations of traditional cartography in representing the world, and also how the experience of displacement and migration have altered how we presently may understand cultural identity. Also raised were questions of belonging, territory and globalisation. Whilst there are no conclusive answers or simple resolutions here, I hope to offer up multiple leads for investigation and plenty of food for thought.
Stuart Hall Library source notes: Geography, space and place
This guide provides an introduction to resources for exploring and studying Geography, Space and Place. The library’s collection ranges from texts on Human Geography, Urban and Cultural Studies, to audio-visual material, catalogues and ephemera from exhibitions held at Iniva. Library shelfmarks can be found under each title, and keywords are listed under each abstract to indicate a general subject area for each item.The guide aims to be indicative rather than comprehensive.
The following texts introduce key themes and theories in relation to Geography, Space and Place:
Key Thinkers on Space and Place
Edited by Phil Hubbard and Rob Kitchin
Los Angeles; London: Sage Publications, 2011
A comprehensive introduction to the key themes and thinkers of contemporary geographic and cultural studies, and explores the importance of space and place in social, political, economic life.
Human Geography/ Cultural Studies/ Urban Studies/ Anthropology
Space and Place: Theories of Identity and Location
Edited by Erica Carter, James Donald and Judith Squires
London: Lawrence and Wishart, 1993
A collection of essays citing examples from various locales between 1987 and 1991 to examine the effects of displacement and exile on the cultural production of identity and belonging, and how these experiences have disrupted concepts of place, nationhood, and home.
Cultural Identity/ Displacement and Migration/ History/ Transnationalism
Mapping the Futures: Local Cultures, Global Change
Edited by Jon Bird, Barry Curtis, Tim Putnam, George Robertson and Lisa Tickner
London: Routledge, 1993
A range of in-depth analyses critically examining recent social, political, and economic changes and the implications of globalisation for framing and understanding cultural practice in the future.
Cultural Studies/ Globalisation/ Transnationalism/ Art & Cultural Practice
London: Sage Publications, 2010
Massey reconsiders assumed understanding of space and time, critiquing their political and social impacts on global perceptions of populations and territorial boundaries.
Human Geography/ Globalisation/ Urban Studies
In Place/ Out of Place: Geography, Ideology, Transgression
Minneapolis, London: University of Minnesota Press, 1996
Cresswell examines the associations between ideology and geography, and the normalised hegemony of social structures which assume particular behavioural patterns and cultural understanding of people in the spaces they inhabit.
Cultural Studies/ Human Geography/ Power and Authority
Rethinking the Power of Maps
New York: The Guildford Press, 1992
An introductory read into the history of mapping and cartography as an organisational tool from the 16th Century to the present day, and also considers “counter-mapping” and “critical cartography” as an undermining process to national institutional authority over mapmaking. The book contains illustrations and examination of the mapping and counter-mapping of Palestine.
Cartographic Studies/ History/ Power and Authority/ War and Conflict
In/Different Spaces: Place and Memory in Visual Culture
Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996
The book consults a range of psychoanalytic theories to analyse the role of visual media representation in the physical space and its effects on identity construction and constitution of ‘self’ and ‘other’ in the imagined, interior, psychological space.
Cultural Studies/ Psychoanalysis/ Identity/ Visual Culture
Displacements: Cultural Identities in Question
Edited by Angelika Bammer
Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1994
A collection of texts which explore the continuation of culture when dislocated from its native geographical space through the experience of displacement, colonisation, and migration; the book includes contributions by Homi L. Bhabha, Doreen Massey and Julio Ramos among other cultural theorists.
Cultural Studies/ Diaspora/ Transnationalism/ Postcolonialism/ Displacement; Migration/ Cultural Identity
Terra Infirma: Geography’s Visual Culture
London: Routledge, 2000
The book analyses the work of international contemporary artists to examine the extent to which geography as a signifying practice can fully represent contemporary experience of migration, ‘inbetweenness’ and belonging.
Cultural Studies/ Art and Cultural Practice/ Geography/ Migration
Rethinking Curating: Art after New Media
Beryl Graham and Sarah Cook
Cambirdge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press, 2010
The book reflects on internationalism in art and curatorial practice, and considers a decentralised networked approach to communities across physical and virtual spaces.
Art and Cultural Practice/ Globalisation/ New Media
Artist’s monographs and exhibition catalogues
A selection of artists and exhibition catalogues addressing issues of Geography, Space, and Place:
Trade Routes: History and Geography: 2nd Johannesburg Biennale 1997
682.2 BIE 1997
Johannesburg: Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Council, 1997
The catalogue for the 2nd Johannesburg Biennale 1997 includes illustrations of artists’ works and text from writers and contributors engaged in discussion of globalisation’s history and its cultural produce born from resilience and fusion, displacement and migration.
Globalisation/ History/ Displacement and Migration
Alfredo Jaar: Geography=War
Richmond, VA; Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1991
The book features images and text on Alfredo Jarr’s provocative exhibition ‘Geography=War’ in which the artist confronts Eurocentric and divisive representations of the world as geographical truth, and critiques the disparity between industrialised and non-industrialised countries in the world. Catalogued also is the Arnold Peters 1974 map of the world which distinctly and accurately maps territories scaled in relation to their landmass.
Mapping and Cartographic Practice/ Power and Authority/ History/ War and Conflict
Ingrid Pollard: Postcards Home
London: Autograph, 2004
Pollard’s photographic engagement with geography, space and place addresses cultural identity, national history, and authority, particularly across the imagined marginalising boundaries of the British rural and coastal landscape documented in this book.
Cultural Identity/ Power and Authority/ History
Landscape Trauma: In the Age of Scopophilia
410.111 AUT LAN
Richard Hylton (curator)
London: Autograph, 2001
The book catalogues works by several artists featured in the exhibition of the same title, opening up revised perspectives and views of the world by distorting, disrupting and deconstructing representations of the landscape in response to national and global changes to the geographic, social and economic climate. Contains illustrations of works by; Annabel Howland, Henna Nadeem, Ingrid Pollard, Camila Sposati, S.T.I. Consortium
Visual Culture and Representation/ Globalisation
Whose Map is it? New Mapping by Artists
410.111 INI WHO
Christine Takengny, Teresa Cisneros
London: Institute of International Visual Arts (Iniva), 2010
The exhibition considers the role of mapping in contemporary art and the perspective from which maps have been produced and how they inform our world view. The booklet includes illustrations of artists’ works and texts from several writers.
Mapping and Cartographic Practice/ Power and Authority/ Visual Culture and Representation
Creative Compass: New Commissions by Agnes Poitevin-Navarre and Susan Stockwell
410.111 RGS CRE
Vandana Petal, Teresa Cisneros
London: Royal Geographic Society
The book features information on a Royal Geographic Society’s initiative in collaboration with INIVA to engage new audiences with Geography as a means to further understanding of the world, its populations and environments. Building upon the Society’s extensive collection of maps and atlases, along with commissioned pieces by artists Agnès Poitevin-Navarre and Susan Stockwell, Creative Compass confronts the challenges that global change presents, explores the history of map making and the role of the map in everyday life, and the exclusion of information in cartographic practice.
Mapping and Cartographic Practice/ Visual Culture and Representation/ Power and Authority
Artists and Maps: Cartography as a Means of Knowing
Portland, Oregon: Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art Lewis; Clark College: 2003
This booklet features illustrations of artists’ works shown in the exhibition exploring the metaphoric and narrative components of maps in intersecting fact and fiction into our world view. Commentary by Linda Brady Tesner (Director of the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art: Lewis; Clark College).
Mapping and Cartographic Practice/ Visual Culture and Representation
Tacita Dean and Jeremy Millar
London: Thames and Hudson
The exhibition catalogue features illustrations from artists in addressing political, historical and social distinctions between concepts of space, place and less familiar non-places.
Urban Studies/ History/ Power and Authority
A select of archived recordings exploring Geography, Space and Place held in Stuart Hall Library’s audio-visual collection;
INIVA : ‘Nation’
London: INIVA, 2009
This audio CD recorded at INIVA features discussion led by Argentine-born Gabriela Salgado exploring concepts of national and transnational identity as a subject for artists and a context for their work, with responses from artists Alexandra Handal and Nada Prija who reflect on their practice and examine to what extent local notions of belonging and rootedness have been redefined by transnationalism in the arts.
Visual Culture and Representation/ Cultural Identity/ Transnationalism
Crossing Boundaries Symposium
London: Royal Geographic Society, INIVA, 2010
The tracked CD documents various panel discussions with geographers and artists on the convergence of humanities and the visual arts by INIVA and the Royal Geographic Society, and considers creative and critical approaches to mapping and cartographic processes, the limitations of traditional cartography, and also the technology used to produce and read maps.
Mapping ; Cartographic Practice/ Visual Culture; Representation/ Technology
Whose Map is it?
London: INIVA, 2010
The CD contains two sessions, both featuring artists in discussion of their work and engagement with mapping. The first features Colombian, Moroccan and Nigerian artists exhibited in INIVA’s ‘Whose Map is it?’ show who expand on their selected themes concerning migration, land ownership and borders. How these artists have used mapping creatively is then explored by Dr Harriet Hawkins in conversation with Heath Bunting in the second part of this audio CD.
Visual Culture and Representation / Displacement and Migration/ Mapping and Cartographic Practice
Whose Map is it? The Content and Meaning of the Spaces we Encounter
London: INIVA, 2010
This CD is a recording of a panel discussion between Paul Goodwin and Alex Vasudevan held during INIVA’s ‘Whose Map is it’ exhibition, focusing on the city space and analysing migrant patterns in urban areas. The panel elaborates on contemporary mapping practices by artists in relation to their research, examining urban development in Lisbon and the history of squatting in Berlin.