Mid-Afternoon Map: 02/09

February 16, 2023

This is the first installment of Mid-Afternoon Map, our exclusive members-only newsletter that provides a cartographic perspective on current events, geopolitics, and history from the Caucasus to the Carolinas. Subscribers can look forward to interesting takes on good maps and bad maps, beautiful maps and ugly ones — and bizarre maps whenever possible.

Over the past decade or two, map enthusiasts and Middle East observers alike have been treated to a series of fanciful maps imagining what alternative borders for the region might look like. The premise behind many of these cartographic proposals is that replacing the artificial boundaries imposed on the Middle East by European imperialists with more “authentic” ones might help resolve its perpetual political turmoil. “Authentic,” in this case, is usually understood to mean reflecting the real underlying ethnic or national divisions that should more properly serve as the basis for modern states.

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