Chromocartographies: An Ethnographic Approach to Colours in Laura Canali’s Geopolitical Maps

Tania Rossetto


Map colours can be approached in many different ways. The first part of the paper provides an extended review of the various, often intertwined perspectives that may be applied to the understanding of colours on maps (intellectual, practical, cognitive, semiotic, critical, aesthetic). The second part of the article adds an additional layer to this stratification of approaches, introducing an ethnographic approach to the practice of colouring maps. Accordingly, the second part briefly reports a fieldwork with the Italian map designer Laura Canali, who to date has made about 3,500 geopolitical maps for Limes, the leading magazine and an eminent opinion maker in Italy in the field of international relations.

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