Cartografía Táctica del Estrecho de Gibraltar

27 July 2007


Today, the most important cartography is revealing techno political, socio-political, and socio-economic power relations and constellations on a tangible ground.

The project Cartografía Táctica del Estrecho de Gibraltar is an exemplarily project in this field and is engaged in the mapping of contemporary power relations at the military, social, political and historical levels of migration in the region between Madrid and the Canary Islands.

If you look at the maps it enfolds complex relations between the fore mentioned domains, and distinguishes many different types of actors: states, government agencies and research centres, investment firms, banks, pressure groups, foundations, mafias, think tanks, NGOs, transnational organizations, religious groups, etc.

The map also shows a strong interconnection between different domains; it expresses an increasingly unified structure of economic, political and cultural control, dealing with every aspect of life in that region. It gives us an awareness of how different actors are interconnected and how power relations are established on different levels. The project explores the map as a metaphor, artistic strategy, and graphic device.

Even though the maps look static they show us the results of dynamic exchanges between actors, these being individuals as well as institutions. It offers us possibilities for strategic interventions in a complex of often invisible socio, cultural and political processes in specific regions, cities, organizations and the actors within these processes.

The data that were used for this cartographic project came from Cartografía Indymedia and groups around informal networks supporting Indymedia. These were social activist groups, communication agents, the inhabitants of the region a.s.

The project contains several maps which are available online on the website of the project. One of the maps shows the flow of capital, people—migration, and information—focusing on control strategies, economy, the borders and the militarization of the region between Madrid and Mauritania and the Canary Islands.

The process of mapping or of cartography doesn’t just mean that images are taken from a satellite above the region, or that it wants to represent historical information of the region; on the contrary, it tries to trace, draw effectively, the social, cultural, political and economic dynamics of a region, in order to be able to intervene, and/or act by offering modes of agency in the process of mapping, and by debating what these maps represent and show us.

Thus it is more a looking into the contemporary situation and the possible future of regions and cities.

Cartografía Táctica del Estrecho de Gibraltar