The World Map of Useless Stereotypes

The New York Times’ Abstract Sunday of this week features the World Map of Useless Stereotypes by Christoph Niemann of I LEGO N.Y. fame.

The World Map of Useless Stereotypes by Christoph Niemann

Obviously, the geography has been messed with a little. And New York and its five boroughs (minus Staten Island) are prominently displayed completely out of scale with the rest of the ‘map’.

According to the map the most prevalent feeling amonst Europeans is arrogance. The recent developments around the Euro crisis are portrayed with the example of Greece which is assumed to be lazy (whereas Greece thinks the EU is heartless). The prevalent feelings between the USA and Europe are about sex and physique.

In the U.S. arena, Florida thinks “young & why don’t you come visit more often” about Manhattan. Within New York, there’s a baseball rivalry going on between Bronx and Queens (“knows #$%! about Baseball”) and a sequence of alleged Yuppieness takes place between some NY districts.

Not sure, whether Niemann got the Middle East right and, sadly, Africa and South America lack any detail.

The map is also reminiscent of the “stereotype mapping” projects of Yanko Tsvetkov whose website features some fine examples of the genre such as “USA According to Common Sense”, “Silvio Berlusconi’s Europe” or “Europe According to Germany”. Last October, Tsvetkov also published “The World according to the United States“. However, I think I like Niemann’s map better for the visuals, its playfulness and the reciprocity of stereotypes bundled in one map, rather than spread across several maps.

(Make sure to also check out I LEGO N.Y. by Christoph Niemann, online it’s only a small portfolio.)


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