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.


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.

Check out the creations of participants 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.

Have a look at our activities

Nomadways membership

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Why not 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.

What participants said about the workshop

I think the workshop was perfect, very good structure and organization, I learn so much about other ways of seeing maps and how other people are connected with this topic. I re-learn to use maps and this will a big change in my practice, how I can use the mapping in my community and find different ways of sharing this topics.

-Melanie Garland, Artist who studies PHD art & anthropology of migration at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.

Very interesting that everyone was also responsible to give workshops. It was a different perspective from the workshops proposed by nomadways and it was helpful in the sense that we can replicate those activities in our home countries.

-Eros Augusto Figueiredo de Oliveira, Artivist

I felt very inspired, everything was filled with creativity and I was excited because every workshop was a representation of someone’s little world that I was invited to join and I enjoyed discovering new aspects of the people I was sharing this experience with. I also believe I can use many ideas from the activities we experimented together for my future workshops.

-Rebecca Sforzani, Artist

What did you think of the activities animated by Nomadways team before creating the Atlas: intro day, mind mapping, objects mapping, sensorial mapping, digital mapping, explore, wor(l)d maps, social maps, journey mapping? How was your learning flow? What will you take away from it?
I think each workshop was very well prepared and organised. You can feel it was made with love, passion and a lot of creativity. My learning flow was good. I feel that coherent scheme along the two weeks helped me a lot to integrate the knowledge faster. Anyway, I still need more time to assimilate everything because it was an ocean of valuable information.

-Romina Cristi, Artist

Doing the exhibition it’s involved all my group energies, finding a real mediation in our different way to look.I’ve found little beat hard communication with locals (more young people than old). I’ve learned how much I love to interact with people come to other countries. And to do exposition for the locals, looking with their own eyes as like aliens we are, and coming in touch with them open my sense of perception of the others.And I’ve learned how da are French songs close to the fire.

-Flavia d’Aiello, Creative educator and puppet master

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