Check out new work by Broad Street contributor Maggie Messitt, whose essay “Ukufa” appears in our current issue, Hunt, Gather. In “North 20°54, West 156°14,” newly posted at the Bending Genre blog, Messitt traces the mystery of a disappeared aunt through a series of maps, both real and virtual. Surveying the maps tacked to her office wall, and combing the digitized streets of Google Maps through uncharted places in South Africa and Maui, Messitt plots an elusive, compelling history of one family’s attempts to lose—and find—themselves in time. Messitt writes:
“I’ve drowned in maps. Tourist maps of Maui. Irrigation. Rainfall. Rivers and tributaries. Historical and present day. Each with so many boundaries. To cope, I find myself creating abstract bodies of topography and watercolor. I pare away the borders, preventing movement from here and there, and begin to reimagine the space as permeable, migrant, inclusive. I see options for where she was and where she might be. I see more clearly.”
Go read the essay at Bending Genre, then check out “Ukufa” in Hunt, Gather. Also, check out this exclusive interview with designer Lauren O’Neill, whose Google Maps-based art also appears in Hunt, Gather.