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Mapping Place
Mapping Place
Jean Ho Chu
Paul Clifton
Daniel Harley
Yuanyuan (Erin) Lin
Jordanne Pavao
Chris DeLeon
Jessica Crabb
Ali Mazalek

As westerners, we hold a certain set of assumptions about what constitutes place, and the artifacts (maps) we create to present place to others encode those assumptions in very particular ways. Other cultures with different values about place necessarily create different types of artifacts to encode those elements. The exhibition Mapping Place: Africa Beyond Paper, held at the Robert C. Williams Paper Museum in spring 2014, invited visitors to examine the 2D surface of Western maps of Africa from paper through digital forms. This was contrasted with hands-on exploration of the way African cultures conceptualize and represent place through the creation of artifacts that connect notions of place with memory and lived experience in tangible and embodied ways. The hands-on exploration was realized through an interactive tabletop installation that let participants tell their own stories by creating a digital Lukasa, a mnemonic device used by the Luba peoples of central Africa to record genealogy and history.


Papers
Mapping Place: Supporting Cultural Learning through a Lukasa-inspired Tangible Tabletop Museum Exhibit