Cartographic Care, or, Caretographies

Sam Hind


This article looks to a digital mapping platform - now defunct - that provided a blueprint for an otherwise latent cartographic politics. From 2010-12 'Sukey' was used by protesters in London to avoid police containments at protest events. It became known as the 'anti-kettling' app. For this brief period its capacities confounded the police, and excited the media. It was to be a new wave of democratic politics. The years since have seen a revanchism of sorts - with new mapping technologies deployed to control crowds at demonstrations. I look to the feminist literature on care to provide a conceptual framework for re-understanding the Sukey platform. In a navigational sense, maps aid way-finding, and care for the lost, disorientated or dislocated. They act as assistive devices, rendering care in material form, and through navigational practice. As such, I present the Sukey platform as a possible blueprint for the articulation of cartographic care; building on feminist Geographical Information Science (GIS) that has considered how maps routinely leave spaces of care 'off the map'. I intensify this work by suggesting a need to consider care-ful cartographic practice. I refer to possible projects that engender such as 'caretographies'. 

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