Africans without Europeans

uncolonized.africa.upside.down

What’s wrong with this map? What’s right? What’s just? Who decides? Who benefits?

Maps are important ways to perpetuate a Big Lie.  Here is Africa from a fresh perspective.

Alkebu-lan is Arabic for “Land of the Blacks.” The map above uses familiar color and shading schemes to name the distinct cultures and people. Human geography.

Zoom in and experience the fractal quality of intense diversity:

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Sokoto Kuilafat surrounded by neighbors. Please read Big-think perspective

 

 

 

The unlabelled land mass at the bottom is the uninhabited realm of lands depopulated by an extinction level event such as Black Death: an alternate history suggested by Frank Jacobs elucidated here:

Africa, Uncolonized: A Detailed Look at an Alternate Continent

A few interesting land areas stand out: places Empire Expanders call Sinai, Levant, Sicily and Spain. Their unexpected presence gives pause.

Please look at this planet from the Other’s perspective, remembering that you too are the “Other.” Call me Ishmael.

The equator is the dashed line. To my eye that great lake in  Alkebu-lan looks like a chick’s eye. What a strikingly different way to look at this enormous continent. The solar system doesn’t have a top and bottom, so I can just imagine visitors from another star system mapping the southernmost continent as the top of the third planet out.

The Latin for the interior sea is Mediterranean: the sea at the middle of Earth. It’s natural but unfortunate to look at the world from where you name “us.” It could be New  York or the Middle Kingdom (China) or Middle Earth.

Anywhere, really.

America must not remain the center for geopolitical advantage studies.

The land of the fulsome and the home of the nice.

Imperialism is brutal exploitation of a land and its people: gain without pain for the well armed and the already comfortable.

Here are the paths the genomes took.

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From IBM recombinational analysis on the human genome. Source.

Simply stated, a map projection is a compromise achieved by forcing a sphere in three dimensions onto a two-dimensional surface. Only a globe presents accuracy to scale on behalf of the earth orb, but you can only see one side of the globe at one time. And it doesn’t fit well in your pocket.

When you have looked at the same combination of continents 100,000 times or so, it gradually takes on the ring of “truth.”

Consider the azimuthal equidistant projection for establishing a center point anywhere. It’s the polar opposite (figuratively and literally) of the mercator projection. Mercator places the North Pole at infinity. Azimuthal places Santa’s Workshop at the center of the world.

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Source: David Rumsey Map Collection

Expect maps to push agendas hard. In 1978 the Palestinian-American scholar Edward Said produced the book Orientalism,in 1978. It explains the way an occupation force imposes its perspective on the occupied: imposition of language and Eurocentric concept of unchangeable truth.

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The wide stance of Cecil Rhodes as Colossus of Rhodes in this famous cartoon. Founder of the Rhodes Scholarship fund. Before Zimbabwe there was Rhodesia. Cecil left a legacy.

From Allen Webb, my source for Cecil Rhodes, a quote from gentle Cecil:

We must find new lands from which we can easily obtain raw materials and at the same time exploit the cheap slave labor that is available from the natives of the colonies. The colonies would also provide a dumping ground for the surplus goods produced in our factories.

The British imperial overlords used a straight-edge to define borders for the people they exploited before leaving former colonials to sort it all out. Once they left they didn’t look back. What’s past is passed. Let’s just say ‘we’re history.’

Consider the absurd British decision to create an East and a West Pakistan in the South Asia theater of interest and profit. It’s folly most insane. Lord Balfour had as much insight as the architects of East and West Pakistan when he crafted a  67-word statement in 1917.  Nakba is one result. Truth is one casualty.

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Arbitrary borders possibly drawn by an idiot with a straight-edge

I mention alternate histories. Here is one such at DeviantArt.Net, a resource for speculative art.

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Keep a window open for Yanko Tsvetkov, the cartographer for the indispensable Atlas of Prejudice.

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Thanks for reading.

فلسطين (Palestine)

+972 is an independent, blog-based web magazine. Today (22 Nov. 2015) it reports that Israelis are removing Arabic language from signs in Israel.

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An Israeli road sign that omits Jerusalem’s Arabic name (‘Al-Quds’), instead using the Hebracized Urshalim.

 

It’s consistent with other measures taken to effect ethnic purity in the Levant. Traditional hasbara students are educated in a set of arguments that proclaims Palestinians  unpersons. I have read handbook-quality materials that seek to “explain” that the first Palestinians came into being on a single day in the 1967 war. It is easier to control a people when that people does not exist.

Arabic does not have a “P” sound in its alphabet, Romance alphabets do; for example, Paris in Arabic language is ‘Baris.’ It would not be phonetically logical to expect to hear the word ‘Palestine’ spoken in Arabic. It makes sense to acknowledge that the English equivalent Philistine begins with an “F” sound. Filistine.

A-boy-with-the-word-PALESTINE-written-on-his-face-takes-part-in-a-protest-against-the-Israeli-blockade-of-the-Gaza-Strip-in-Amman-December-5-2008-Reuters

Image from Palestinian Arabic

There are efforts to force (or phorce) the history of the Palestinians into a more convenient geography that better serves their argument by employing the logical fallacy of affirming the consequent. It’s a method that has been effective ever since Homo sapiens lived in a land without a people.

The British Empire efficiently ran their worldwide enterprise by employing a divide and conquer strategy. Sometimes overlooked was their ability to impose the imperial language upon the occupied. The Palestinian scholar Edward Said, in his seminal work Orientalism published in 1978 described the dynamic. From his birth he found himself split between cultures, with a juxtaposition of the English name Edward and the common Arabic surname Said. This caused some difficulty in the multicultural multi faith city of  Jerusalem. In thought he would begin a sentence in English and end it in Arabic, or vice versa.

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The same British Empire used a puppet mechanism for control of The Raj in India. It’s not always wonderful to live in a culture that writes in the language of the conqueror. English has become the principal  medium of the written word in Indian literature: English is an unfortunate medium that replaces Hindi, a tongue with deep roots.

Aatish Tameer

Under the British Mandate many worked fiercely to have Hebrew included along with English on public signs, as a signal for their cultural and ethnic identity. The irony of witnessing removal of Arabic on signs is not lost on this author.