There is Gaza in the Middle East, and there is Gaza in Jamaica. A war is happening in both places.
My new book – The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion – is, in parts, fascinated with Jamaica’s unusual place names, and the politics of naming generally – how we often imagine one place onto another place. Jamaica isn’t unique in this. In New Zealand, there is Dunedin, derived from the Gaelic word for Edinburgh, and the map of Edinburgh here is imposed onto the territory. But it doesn’t quite work. No place can ever be another place, no matter how hard we try to imagine it. In Dunedin, there are valleys where there should be hills, and water where there should be land. The landscape resists the imposed map of Edinburgh. And there are examples of this sort of thing all over the colonial world.
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