Why Maps? Because maps are powerful, and community map-making invites people to think first about what the community already has, rather than what it needs. Maeve Lydon of the Common Ground Community Mapping Project in Victoria BC wrote:
Community mapping focuses on what people value and what they vision for the future. This kind of mapping is the antithesis of expert-led discourse and development, as everyone's views matter and can only enhance the map
Not all maps show streets, and not all maps are drawn on paper. Some are made of songs, carved of wood, composed of sticks, or stitched or woven from fibres. The possibilities are many....
Personal and Community Map Making at Public Events
A simple invitation to dream, imagine and play, stopping for ten minutes (or an hour!) to contribute a personal or collaborative image that could be collected and bound as a book or become part of a printed 'local's guide to Strathcona'.
Family Day - Scribbles, stories, and tall tales about favourite places in Strathcona, drawn on a simple base map of Strathcona's unique street grid. Materials: copy paper, felt pens, pencil crayons
Multicultural Fair - where are your ancestors from? where were you born? where are you now? Who are your neighbours? flags, fabrics, or other symbols of heritage posted onto a large collective base map. Possible Materials: poster paper, fabric, pins, felt pens, stamps and ink
Reconciliation in Action - A large hand-drawn base map shows historical shorelines & creeks, inviting people to imagine what their favourite places would have looked like -- would my house have been in the intertidal zone?! -- and note where native trees, shrubs or plants exist today. Materials: Fabric, paper, pins, pencil, fineliner, found objects (feathers, leaves, twigs, shells, sand); natural inks (walnut, snowberry, pokeberry, other)
Sustenance Fest - Stories of Gardens and Gardeners in Strathcona, past and present. Who had goats or rabbits? Who had the most diverse orchard, who grew the biggest veggies? Incorporating discussions of textiles and fibres and the results from Community Plant and Dye walks and the Youth Mapping components of the project (see below). Possible Materials: Fabric, natural dyes and inks, found objects (leaves, twigs, flowers, bottle caps), pencil, fineliner
Wild Salmon Caravan - Where did the salmon run through Strathcona? The large historical-shoreline base map is enhanced with stories of salmon streams and seafood in Strathcona, adding lines of meaning with handmade rope, beading, or salmon leather figures embroidered onto fabric. Possible Materials: fabric, paper, salmon leather, leaves and bark for cordage, seed beads, thread, natural inks
Eastside Culture Crawl - an exhibition of our Community Maps!
Three sessions of walks out of Strathcona Community Centre and four community dyepot studio evenings at Trillium Park dedicated to exploring and documenting the green inhabitants of Strathcona, the trees, shrubs and plants that make the neighbourhood so liveable. Dyed fabric and natural inks made as a result of these sessions will be used for creating and enhancing the large community maps for Reconciliation in Action, Sustenance Fest and Wild Salmon Caravan.
One session of garden love by EartHand artists, some new plants from the nursery, and five sessions dedicated to the kids, one at Red Fox, one at the Chat n Chew, and three for daycare, after school, or summer camp programming. This module of the project was inspired by Ronnie's desire to 'get a good feeling' when looking out over the childcare centre garden on the north side of the building. We envision the children's programming focused on mapping the imaginative landscape of the garden area, and developing imagery to use as the basis for murals on the walls facing the garden, pending funding for artists fees from the Anti-Graffiti Program (EartHand has some paint it can offer as in-kind to the project)