Un article sur le fonds cartographique Reclus-Perron gagne la septième édition du Prix Imago Mundi
Article mis en ligne le 5 février 2017

par F.F.
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Seventh Imago Mundi Prize Awarded

The Directors of Imago Mundi Ltd are delighted to announce that the seventh Imago Mundi Prize has been awarded to Federico Ferretti for ‘A new map of the Franco-Brazilian border dispute (1900)’ which appeared in Imago Mundi 67:2(2015):229-241. Dr Federico Ferretti is a lecturer at the
School of Geography, University College, Dublin. federico.ferretti@ucd.ie

This article is a novel contribution to the history of cartography of the early twentieth century in the service of diplomacy between Brazil and France over the border between French Guiana and Brazil. The border dispute was arbitrated by Swiss scholars in 1900. The author examines the political usefulness of maps in such deliberations and also provides evidence of the challenge some geographers made to the prevailing European view of imperialism and colonialism of the time. As such the discussion broadens our understanding of the role of maps and their makers in Europe in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century ; it draws attention to their use in a more subversive role rather than in exemplifying the power of the state.
The author focusses on a newly discovered map drawn by the explorer Henri Coudreau (1859-1899) and given by him to the geographer Elisée Reclus (1830-1905) which has been recently discovered in the Public Library in Geneva amongst Reclus’s maps. The author has carefully investigated the extensive Reclus archive there and also other archives and collections, including those of the Swiss Federal Council relevant to the Border dispute. He has argued lucidly and convincingly, based on his examination of the maps, archives and personal papers, that the Coudreau map of Brazil was critical to establishing the boundary between Brazil and French Guiana to the satisfaction of the Brazilians. Although both Coudreau and Reclus were French, their attitudes were anti-colonial as is evident from Reclus’s writings on French Guiana and thus they did not follow the expected government line. The author points out that the same could be said of some contemporary cartographers in Eastern Europe who promoted, by their mapping, the idea of nationhood rather than the political status quo - as being part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

The author widens the discussion to consider more fully the wider purpose of the history of cartography and concludes that it is essential to take account not only of the production of maps but also the context of the maps concerned and the uses to which maps were put, which in this case was demonstrating Coudreau’s and Reclus’s sympathies and attitudes and their challenge to the French colonial view.

The prize is offered every two years. This award covered Volumes 67 (2015) and 68 (2016). The winning article is the one judged ‘to have made the most significant contribution to the discipline’. Only full-length articles, which are automatically subjected to the (anonymous) external refereeing process before acceptance for publication, are eligible for the prize.

The prize is $1000 and qualifies for a J. B. Harley Travel Award to the biennial International Conference on the History of Cartography (Belo Horizonte, Brazil, 9-14 July 2017 - http://www.ichc2017.ufmg.br/).

The Imago Mundi Prize is generously sponsored by Kenneth Nebenzahl.

By courtesy of our publishers, Routledge Journals (Taylor & Francis), the Ferretti article will in due course be made available free of charge at : http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/rimu20/current

Tony Campbell
Chairman, Imago Mundi Ltd

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