I was inspired to create this experimental component of my senior project by the book Mapping Manhattan by Becky Cooper. Cooper walked up and down the length of Manhattan with hundreds of blank maps of the island to pass out to various people she passed on the street. She then asked them to take the map home and illustrate through any medium desired (e.g. painting, drawing, writing, etc.) what Manhattan means to them. The results varied incredibly and I was in love with her different approach to uncovering a portion of the intimate meaning of a place to an individual. For my project, I took a very similar approach to the one Cooper took. I hand drew a map of Christiania, photocopied it, and went all around the Freetown asking people to complete the maps for me. On my second to last day in Christiania, I met a woman named Tina who was interested in both Cooper’s book (she bought it on her phone immediately after having seen my copy) and my project in her home, Christiania. She agreed to put up a little station in the local post office explaining what the project was about with a pile of blank maps and her copy of Cooper’s book to inspire people and give them ideas on how to go forward with their own map. She then mailed me all the maps she collected over a couple of weeks. Presented here is a selection of those maps.
– Kara Jo Schultz