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Current Exhibition:

Mapping Place: Africa Beyond Paper
Opens February 28, 2014

Mapping Place: Africa Beyond Paper  invites visitors to explore the ways that the changing representation and projection of space has shaped our approach to Africa.  The exhibit includes examples of European representations of Africa on paper maps from the late 16th to the 20th centuries as well as African artifacts and paper objects pertaining to the scientific, administrative, commercial, and military exploration of the continent by European and North American interests. 

Visitors will explore geographic information systems, or GIS, through maps that go beyond latitude and longitude.  Explore maps revealing mineral deposits in the Congo or street maps from the 1950s to see that maps are key tools to understanding geography and culture.  An interactive media table recalibrates the concept of place and memory incorporated into a particular African artifact – the Lukasa board used by the Luba people of Central Africa – allows visitors to produce and share their own narratives of people and place.

The exhibition asks about the ways that the European cartographic representations of Africa conceal indigenous African practices of place.  It challenges viewers to see how maps remind us that at the vantage points from which they are drawn also carry limits.  While mapping technologies make particular information visible, other information becomes invisible. 

Above all, Mapping Place: Africa Beyond Paper challenges us to understand that one map is never enough. 

Mapping Place: Africa Beyond Paper is being mounted in conjunction with Africa Atlanta, a year-long project that will give audiences opportunities to approach Africa from multiple vantage points.

Permanent Exhibitions:

Forerunners to Paper

The Invention of Paper

The Spread of Papermaking in Europe

The Papermaker

Dard Hunter

Papermaking Moves to the United States

The Advent of the Paper Machine


The Modern Paper Mill

Paper in Our Lives

Recycling in the Paper Industry

Past Exhibitions:

Peter Sowiski, Pulp Painter: A Survey

Breaking New Ground

Washi (Japanese Paper)

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Institute of Paper Science and Technology at Georgia Tech - Atlanta, Georgia
Last updated - March 17, 2014