Mapping Globalization: A Conversation between a Filmmaker and a Cartographer

December 30, 2009

I’ve had the opportunity to collaborate with cartographer Sebastien Caquard over the last few months. We first connected when I interviewed Sebastien as a part of a media project I was working on, looking at the documentary form in the context of new media. With new media the boundaries of what “documentary filmmaking” is are being pushed in exciting ways.

Sebastien suggested we write an article together for the Art & Cartography Special Issue (November 2009) of The Cartographic Journal. The article we wrote became an extension of our conversations:

This paper is an edited version of a written dialogue that took place between the fall of 2008 and the summer of 2009 between a filmmaker (Amelia Bryne) and a cartographer (Sebastien Caquard) around the issue of representing globalization. In these conversations, we define some of the key means for representing globalization in both mapmaking and filmmaking discussing local/global, strategic/tactical, data/narrative and unique/multiple perspectives. We conclude by emphasizing the potential impact of new media in ushering in hybrid digital products that merge means of representation traditional to filmmaking and cartography.

Picture 7   Picture 5

The conversation starts out like this:

SC. Why would a filmmaker like you involved in exploring globalization through film be interested in maps and cartography?

AB. In my view cartography and cinema have a similar problem at heart: how can we represent the world in a meaningful and engaging way? These representations can be made with many kinds of information – fragments of the world – including information in the form of scientific data, or about spatial and temporal relationships, cultural practices, and even individual perceptions or emotions. These two disciplines seemingly address the challenge of constructing representations of the world from different angles, and I am interested in exploring them. More specifically, I am interested in exploring how the combination of these two practices could be complementary in terms of understanding and representing globalization, which is a significant focus of the work of many contemporary filmmakers, including myself.

Read more, here (PDF).


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