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The Right MAP Making Manifesto

five ways to make maps for a future to be possible

“The most obvious characteristic of our age is its destructiveness.”
THE PROBLEM for the maker of maps being that our maps are, in part, engaged in the active and wanton destruction of the world.


From the awareness that our maps are, in part, responsible for the great and unnecessary destruction of life taking place in the world today. We vow to map and comment on spatial relationships in a manner non-harming, with reverence and with respect, and to reflect and reveal the beauty of life in a manner non-objectified, where the economic, the non-economic, and the unseen elements are given voice. We vow to recognize and incorporate story with the arguments on our maps. In agreement with M. Gandhi, "first... non-cooperation with everything humiliating," we vow to refrain from economicism, the objectification of sentient beings, and cartographic pornography. Such mapping and maps reflect agreement with the first principle of right action: REVERENCE.


From the awareness that our maps are, too often, in our self-interest, greedy consumptions of endless desire, human biased and nationalistic. We vow to engage in a mapping of that which desires to be mapped and shared, not taking that into map form that which does not belong to us; desiring to remain unmapped. We vow to be generous to all sentient beings on our maps and in our mapping. Where generosity is also the courage to leave blank on the page that which does not belong to us, not mapping to take what is not ours, and honoring the sanctity of the commons. Leviticus: "fields are not to be reaped to the border." Such mapping and maps show agreement with the second principle of right action: GENEROSITY.


From the awareness that our maps are, in part, reflective of a lack of relationship and commitment to the place in which we reside and map. We vow to resist the temptation to map places with which we have no intimate or committed relation. We seek to remember and honor our relationship to the place; mapping with an honesty of lines, colours, and shapes, the naming of places, the unnaming as well, without gossip or intent to harm, or to divide, but rather with a clarity of intent to all sentient beings with whom we are committed to with & in the relationship. Such mapping and maps show agreement with the third principle of right action: COMMITMENT TO THE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE PLACE.


From the awareness that our maps are, in part, a failure to deeply listen and have been made without stopping to directly contact and listen to the place we are mapping. We vow to refrain from mapping what we do not know to be the truth, to first stop to experience the interconnected, ever-changing and interwoven space we are privileged to map. These maps acknowledge the intimate Other, the desire for the awakened heart and mind with & in direct contact with the place itSelf. Such mapping and maps show agreement with the fourth principle of right speech: DEEP LISTENING THROUGH DIRECT-CONTACT AND STOPPING.


From the awareness that our maps are, in part, disconnected from the body of the earth. How can this be? Kabir says, "Whose Body is it anyway?" We vow to make our maps about the body living; our own body, the body in motion, ever-changing and interconnected, the body free from addiction and enslavement to the toxicity of drugs: ownership, objectification, disconnection, greed, capitalism, all the isms. We vow to map that delight in the body that serves to reduce suffering and misery. Maps, and the making of maps that respect all sentient beings; the living breathing air, the changing clouds, and the wind and the tides in motion, the soils, the interwoven rocks, the waterways and the water bodies entwined & circling, mountains rising & falling, compost building. Maps respecting and awakened to belonging to the OneBody without separation. Such mapping and maps show agreement with the fifth principle, oikos as the ecologic, economic and ecumenical whole of right livelihood: ON BELONGING TO ONE BODY.

  • Right MAP Making Manifesto

    Right MAP Making Manifesto

  • Letterpress Broadside
  • On Somerset Velvet 15 by 22 in. letterpress editioned. The broadside is available by contacting Steven.

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  • Digital PDF
  • A copy of the Broadside as a downloadable PDF is available. Please consider making a donation. Thank you.

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