Thursday, February 12, 2009

Making Sense of the Middle East?

Decades from now, someone will pick up this Hammond map of the Middle East and will clearly be able to see how it reflects the events of the time period (in this case, September 11th). Will they wonder why a map of the Middle East carries a message referencing the turmoil of the Middle East and today's headlines? Will they wonder why there is an American flag emblazoned on one of the map's folding pages? This map demonstrates that all forms of material culture, even a paper map of the Middle East, was impacted/influenced by 9/11. It would be great to hear about the process and reasons for why Hammond created this particular map. Obviously a map is an educational tool, and they saw an opportunity to meet the demand for people to better understand where countries like Saudi Arabia were located. But, to incorporate an American flag? Would someone question the Hammond company's patriotism for making a map of the Middle East? This flag is a marketing statement to consumers: we are patriotic (and don't forget, buying our map also helps the Red Cross). Of course, this is only one perspective, but you can see how this map would spur a great conversation in any classroom.

No comments: