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Brad Houk ~ Countermapping
November 15, 2016 @ 9:30 am - 11:00 am
Counter-maps are art-maps or protest-maps made by people who are not in the service of the state and who typically have no training whatsoever in map-making. Counter-maps are changing the landscape of cartography. Counter-cartography (counter-mapping) is a form of place-based experiential learning that connects individuals to their local communities by mapping the common and frequently-considered-never-worth-mapping things in a community. These might include the locations of wind chimes, dog-walking routes, cricket sounds, potholes, and so on. It is these very taken-for-granted and often-overlooked things that help to define the uniqueness to a community (its beauty and its warts). Counter-cartography challenges, empowers and exposes as it integrates both art and science across any subject area for any topic. This workshop defines maps and counter-maps, demonstrates how to collect data, and explores how to bring the collected data to life through counter-maps.
Brad Houk teaches geography, art, and education at the Community College of Vermont, social studies at Green Mountain Union High School (Chester, VT), and physical education at Riverside Middle School (Springfield, VT). He has presented his countermapping work in various regional and international conferences from Louisville, KY to Omaha, NE to Shelburne, VT. He has taught atrisk students in Vermont, Navajo students in the Navajo Nation, Friends (Quaker) students in Pennsylvania, and PhD candidates at an ordnance college for the People’s Liberation Army in Shijiazhuang (China). Currently, Brad and his CCV colleagues and students are mapping Vermont communities for a series of narrative atlases entitled “The Vermont Countermapping Project”. Brad believes that countermaps can empower people, reveal new perspectives, and, at times, change public policy.
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