design histories in swana


Disorientating SWANA: A Journey Through Maps



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South to North, East to West, where does SWANA begin, where does it manifest? Maps are more than a neutral representation of Earth; they are flattened, edited, labelled, distributed, and along the way, they are imbued with layers of subjectivities. They become an image of a particular worldview, a snapshot of the imagination of a people in a certain time or location. Reading through them reveals gateways to understanding how this world we share has been (and can be) known.

Through tracing over a curated selection of Perso-Arabic world and regional maps from the 9th to the 18th century CE, we slowly unravel the connected histories that formed this cluster of interrelations, existing between a multiplicity of languages, cultures and ways of being that, occasionally, share a sense of belonging.

This class is available to purchase individually, or at a discounted rate when the course pass is purchased.


  • Sherine Salla

    Sherine Salla is a designer and researcher, born and raised in Cairo, currently based in Amsterdam. Her practice investigates notions of Arabness and themes of subjective histories through the realm of material cultures. Being part of Archief Cairo since 2020, she has conducted workshops negotiating...
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