Speaking Difference

Today, I wandered strange streets, exploring reaches of the city I live in that are outside of my usual paths of work and pleasure. There were quite a few fancy antique stores, and in them, quite a few antique globes.

I love globes. And maps. When I was a younger, I used to steal the special map pull-outs from National Geographic magazines and hang them on my bedroom walls.

I like inspecting old globes for indications of their genesis, both in time and politically: Is it Russia or the U.S.S.R.? Is it Ceylon or Sri Lanka? Burma or Myanmar?

I also came upon a fancy Scandinavian design store. They had globes too, yet they were uncanny (though they weren’t repulsive, just familiar and strange. Is there a word for this?). All the water is white, all the land is black, and there are no countries. Cities are labelled. Continents too. But no countries.

I really love this globe. I feel like it is predicting the future, or accurately representing contemporary lived experience. As my dear friend Rikia would point out, our real world is one of migration, capitalism and climate change. Sports teams need borders, but these are artificial. This globe is a simple reminder of that.


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