Fragment of the Piri Reis map. Library of Topkapi Palace Museum.

As I’ve begun the journey to creating zines and other potential outputs for my project work, I’ve been conscious of ways in which I can bring a sense of community and global connectivity into their presentation. What graphic elements and text forms can I use on the page as part of my page layouts that might assist in this?

This week I began by considering maps and lines of migration and became fascinated with the Piri Reis map (above).

This was a map of the world created in 1511 by Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. Only a third of it exists now, showing the western coasts of Europe, North Africa and the coastline of Brazil. It also shows the mythical island of Antillia. Something about this map struck me. It chimed with earlier research on biomythography (see CRJ post here) – that curious space between fact and fiction. It represents something familiar and yet out of our usual reference – after all it’s as much an aesthetic representation of the globe as it is an actual map and definitely not how we know it today through our computer and satellite mapping capabilities. This aesthetic ambiguity and the way it was drawn so beautifully are what appealed to me. Plus the coastlines reminded me of migratory routes or pathways.

So, I appropriated the map, flipped it, and made my own sketched version of it as a graphic and made colourised variations in Photoshop:

I then drew in the earlier project ideas of titling images using the latitude and longitude of the project participants birth places or significant locations in their heritage. I’ve laid these out in the graphic itself more aesthetically than as an attempt to be geographically correct. This has resulted in something that contains more context:

So, I added this to some draft zine layouts alongside text and other graphic experiments as possible endpapers or similar:

This consideration around the use of text has led me to think about using transcribed sections of the interviews I did earlier in the year with participants on the page as direct copy. So their voices can be heard in an additional way. I’ve also experimented with using bilingual translations using the languages of the project participants.


Wikipedia, 2020. Piri Reis map, Available at: <> [Accessed 17th November 2020].