Cartographies of Disaster

The Japanese earthquake changed our relationship to place, and post-disaster social media changed it again.

“Natural disasters are fundamentally experiences of place: The epicenter was here. It was this many miles from this other place. It affected here and here and here. Place is understood through position and relationship, through contact and distance.

Geography determines terrestrial points of contact. These change, but usually at a rate barely perceptible to the human eye. Politics and language anchor societal points of contact, through alliance, ideological similarity, and shared knowledge. These change more quickly than continents, but stay stable long enough to fill history textbooks. Communication technologies scaffold personal points of contact. These change quickly indeed.”

Cartographies of Disaster

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Fade to 1906 by Shawn Clover

In 2010, San Francisco native Shawn Clover began compositing photos of the San Francisco’s 1906 earthquake aftermath with his own, and created a series entitled “Fade to 1906.” After completing over 150 all-new high-resolution photoblends, writing the text, and finishing the layout, he was not allowed to get permissions for some of the historical photos after repeated requests, and pleas.

To see more of his work CLICK HERE