Speculative cartographies

A project by Solomon Nagler and Angela Henderson

The rise of awareness of human impact on the environment and the emergence of a new paradigm in the humanities, which can be described as ecological humanities, drew attention to nature as an actor, witness, evidence and archive, which can be an important source of knowledge for those studying the past. If local ecosystems are the source of knowledge, evidence and data about past violence against people and nature, how can we make them visible? Speculative cartographies is an art project dedicated to uncovering the knowledge archived in landscape. Working with unmarked places associated with the Holocaust, Canadian artists – Angela Henderson and Solomon Nagler – work with different ways of mapping this knowledge, using data produced by non-invasive archeological tools, as well as traditional archives and subjective maps stored in local memory cultures. This work is accompanied by reflection on the very idea – and the possibility – of a monument. Speculative cartographies, extracting material traces of violence recorded in landscape, simultaneously reveal the connection between human conflicts and radical transformations of the natural environment.