Tyneside’s Skateworlds and their Transformation

Jon Swords, Mike Jeffries

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Post-representation cartography is an approach to mapping which emphasizes the processes involved in map making. The emphasis shifts from “the ‘rules’ of map design, and techniques of cartographic production, and⁄or documenting and deconstructing the underlying ideologies and agendas of maps, to a processural perspective concerned with how mappings and cartographic design, technique and ideology emerge time and again through a plethora of practices framed within a complex discursive and material context, and the diverse, unfolding work of mappings in the world” (Kitchin et al. 2013: 481). Thus post-representation cartography is concerned with how representations of the worlds around us become maps through, on the one hand, the use of certain technologies, tropes and methodologies by cartographers (in the broadest possible sense), and on the other, how users unfold and recognize maps anew through their style, content and conventions. In some contexts, then something which isn’t traditionally thought of as a map, may become one because it is used as a map. In this way maps become ‘writerly texts’ where the “purpose is to see texts as producing an open series of readings, each of which requires that the reader also be in part author of meaning” (Pickles, 2004: 174). The map you see here is the result of a project with skateboarders to understand their appropriation of space in Tyneside, in the North East of England undertaken in 2009-10. Our primary methodology was to ask skaters to map their worlds (Fig. 1), but what we actually got was fascinating sketches and doodles full of insight and emotion (Fig. 2 and 3). In a previous piece we have explained how these sketches and doodles became maps through our analysis and use as locational technologies, and were subsequently aggregated into the map you see here (Swords & Jeffries, 2015; see also Jenson et al. (2012) for insights into the activities of skateboarders). In what follows we adopt a post-representational approach to explain how the map has unfolded to take on other forms through its use in a variety of contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThis is not an Atlas
ISBN (Print)978-3-8376-4519-4
Publication statusPublished - 26 Sept 2018


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