Subjective Mapping 2017

“Subjective Mapping” invited 24 artists, educators and social workers to discover and explore the emotional layer of our perception of space, to create their own maps that tell stories, convey values and engage people. The training in rural France gave participants the unique opportunity to experience and learn about subjective mapping as a tool for community building and inclusion.

  • Dates: 1-15 October 2017 
  • Location: France
  • Who: youth workers, social workers, educators, teachers, illustrators, creative writers, urbanists, cartographers, geographers, designers, community workers, artists working on public spaces and urban environment, for space appropriation and community building, storytellers, urban sociologists and landscapers…
  • Where from: France, Portugal, Turkey, Poland, Bulgaria

About the workshop

Download our booklet with many of the amazing activities we did at the workshop from here.

Look at our photos from the project that took place in Brivezac, France here.

Maps hold unparalleled storytelling power. A map, unlike a photographic sketch, looks like the way we think. Cognitive science nowadays insists on the ability of our minds to create mental maps before we take snapshots, storing information and space representation in a schematic form. We only need a few lines, relations between elements, some dots marking important points – for a whole story of experiences to come alive in our imagination. The most wonderful appeal of maps, perhaps, is that it stores and expresses our emotions into minimalistic shapes. We want to explore the beautiful subjectivity of maps as a tool for intercultural understanding, inclusion and active participation, especially related to migration.

“Subjective Mapping” aimed to offer alternative sources of non formal education, expression and therapy. Our proposal was to explore educational tools for social work and community building using cartography, illustration, storytelling and creative writing to engage Europeans in intercultural learning, initiatives for inclusion and active participation.

24 youth workers and artists from various countries in Europe, South and North America participated in our training course in France. Together they shared personal and professional experiences and explored the potential of subjective mapping as a tool for youth work and community development, especially to engage youth at risk, in personal development, intercultural learning, inclusive initiatives and active participation.

Our methodology was based on experiential learning, interdisciplinary exchange, outdoor education and non-formal education principles. Participants learned through testing their designed methods and reflecting upon the experience. By using participatory approach we encouraged the exchange of experience between the participants and with the local community, fostering peer learning. In this project we also used the theme centred interaction approach, which encouraged participants to better perceive connections between themselves, the group, the topic and the environment while learning.

The creation of cross-sector educational tools enabled the participants to improve their personal and professional skills. Working closely with other European professionals allowed them to build an international network as well as contribute to the development of their European identity and a civic sense. The production of an educational booklet illustrating the tools developed during the training; the public presentation of final results; the launch of an exhibition of the creations developed during the activities, as well as the design and animation of dissemination events and workshops in all partners countries will increase impact and visibility of our results. In the long term, the partnership aims to extend the influence of our project before new target audiences.


Our trainer Éléonore Labattut talks about the workshop and mapping in this beautiful video, edited by our Verena Mans.


eleEléonore LABATTUT, Architect and geographer

Éléonore LABATTUT is an architect and geographer. She specializes in large-scale diagnostics and analyses and in assessing stakeholders’ roles in post-disaster contexts and crisis situations. She has also worked on implementing participatory housing and planning-related projects at neighborhood, village and city level.

Eléonore has conducted extensive research into humanitarian assistance phases, from emergency through to recovery and development in several countries. She has an excellent knowledge of housing-related issues, from temporary shelters through to sustainable solutions.

In addition, she works on the representation of territory, such as the subjectivity of maps and imaginaries conveyed by places, which are transcribed into geographical tales or architectural fiction.

View her work here.


Anne MERLIN, Creator of Nomadways

Anne is a nomad designer. She creates and animates trainings since 2008. Born in France, Anne studied art and interaction design there. She lived in Greece, Brazil, Seychelles, Portugal and now travels all year round, working from anywhere.

She is an idea machine. her curiosity led her to teach in the Himalayas, hitchhike on boats along the Amazon and camp through the Sahara. That gave her a chance to collect myriads of stories to share through images and words.




Why not get inspired by the works of Shannon Rankin, Stephen Walter, Sohei Nishino, Becky Cooper and Mira Rojanasakuand learn more about subjective mapping here.


Subjective mapping artworks on the collage features the amazing work of:

Shannon RankinStephen WalterSohei NishinoBecky CooperMira Rojanasakul and Alexandra Nikolova.


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