The Great Ocean Rush
London College of Communication
In recent times, there has been a rise of massive conflicts about identities, borderlines, occupation, and the ownership of territories. In the summer of 2007, Russia planted a metal flag into ocean bed of the North Pole to stake a claim over the arctic resources. As Russia, Canada, Norway, Greenland and the United States of America scramble to claim the arctic resources, Russia increases a military presence in the area as a response.
Chaumont’s Unmapping the World brief is to make an exploration into the field of reactive map making as a form of poetic resistance to an authoritative state.
The idea came from my curiosity of how to claim bodies of water. When one looks at a map of the world, natural borders made by land and water, and manmade borders of where one country’s territory touches another are clearly defined. However, I could not find a map that showed borders when it came to oceans and seas. Through research, I discovered that the United Nations agreed that countries should have a claim and the right to protect up to 200-300 miles of water from around the landline.
I decided to create a map that extended the borders to this point in the ocean and offer the rest of the ocean to the people. If politicians have the right to claim oceans and seas outside of the borders the United Nations have set, then so should anyone. Viewers of the map were invited to choose their piece of the ocean by using a stamp and received a title deed to go with it.
This map stirred up debates about who should be allowed to claim the ocean, or if the ocean should belong to anyone at all. Ask yourself, if you owned a bit of the ocean what would you do with it?