Map of the Month 7: The Way I See It

Map of the Month 7: The Way I See It

The Challenge

Make two maps - one showing a country, and the other showing how the inhabitants of that country perceive the world in which they live. The second map could be humorous, it could reflect cultural or political views, or it could be inaccurate or incomplete.

The Restrictions
There are no restrictions on when the PoD of your map should be. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread.

Entries will end for this round when the voting thread is posted on Monday, January 13, 2020! (Extended by one week)

Any discussion must take place in the main thread.
If you post anything other than a map entry (or a description accompanying a map entry) in this thread then you will be asked to delete the post.

Remember to vote on MotF 208!
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Ok, so here's what I came up with.

This idea has been going around my head for a while, so I decided to finally get it done. It turned out decently, I think, although I'll admit I've rushed a few things, with the holiday season and all. In any case, I think it's acceptable.

(NOTE: The two maps depict a Chinese Empire and a Roman Empire as seen by the Chinese)

So the idea is a Mohist China somehow winning out over the other philosophies during the Warring States Period, leading to an alternate and Mohist restored Shang Dynasty that works in very different principles from anything we are accustomed to. So we have a China that is kicking off the industrial period way earlier, with an emphasis on great project building (so I imagine the great works of defence of China, such as the Great Wall, would seem ridiculously small compared to the masterpieces of this empire. Imagine immense fortresses and walls and all kinds of engineering feats being accomplished for the sake of being accomplished) and on social harmony and equality. So we have a Chinese society that is strictly no-nonsense: very Spartan in its customs, without any wasteful rituals and without displays of wealth, which end up creating a very stratified and truly meritocratic society based on equality of opportunity, empowerment of builders and engineers and a great devotion to social well-being and to the Emperor, as Son of Heaven. So we end up with a very strange theocratic proletarian democracy of sorts, with at least the inhabitants of the Chinese core territories being allowed to elect their own magistrates and self-organising above all things. A type of confederalism on an electoral and technocratic level, so to say. With, of course, the legal framework of everything being the property of the Emperor, as Son of Heaven.

And a politic of expansion, fuelled by strict organisation and laconic living and by a robust industrial powerhouse, as can be seen from the map. But of course, being philosophically utilitarian, the Mohists don't see themselves as occupiers - their adjacent regions are justified by either a sense of protection of the people living there (for the more mild and well-adjusted regions) or a protection of the civilised world from the people living there (for the fiercer regions). In any case, the reality of the situation would be far more gruesome than the name suggests, as the Chinese, witht heir no-nonsense policies, would certainly be swift to crush any sign of dissent and have no mercy in doing it for the common good.

So yeah, below a thin layer of utilitarian beauty, there's a clear monstruosity happening in the Chinese map.

Regarding the Roman map, I tried my best to imagine how an hyper-advanced Chinese civilisation would see the Roman Empire. It was fun working out with the names, some of them are literal translations of the province names, others are more creative... A few also come from Chinese reports of the Roman Empire, but those are hard to find. Which brings me to the point - I am still not learning Chinese (I'll possibly take a course this following year) so I don't really know what kind of mistakes I may have done, but I imagine I used a lot of Simplified Chinese where Traditional was more appropriate, and may even have mixed the two. Well, that's life, the Chinese characters are there more to give the vibe to the map than anything, it was fun building a Chinese perspective on the West for a change.

(BTW: although not shown in the map, in my head-canon the next wave of Shang expansion would be going to Bengal and the Ganges Valley... And this time not to protect, but to settle en masse... with "utilitarian" ethnical cleansing being used generously to get rid of the pesky natives in favour of good Chinese stock)

Well, it was fun making these maps and fleshing out, if just a bit, this scenario. Mohism as a philosophy and as a path of History is something that fascinates me deeply, and so is China and the Roman Empire overall, so it was cool being able to make a map involving all of those things. It was also fun trying out the effects and the fonts to give it a more eastern look (although I hope I didn't overdo it). I hope you like it and, if you spot any problems, warn me, I'll try to fix them. This was a very fun challenge!
Here's my part of the entry, a collab between TheKutku and I (Ernak)​

PARTICIPANTS: [REDACTED], [Roméo Antonius Dallaire]

[REDACTED] “I understand the difficulty in discussing the genocide, no one should watch the wanton slaughter of over a million souls.”

[Dallaire] “No. No one should. You can call it a genocide, but really, what happened in Rwanda was the release of what lies in the darkest recesses of our souls, torn into the daylight for all to see. No other genocide can compare to it.”

[REDACTED] “When you mean by that, do you mean that it cannot be compared to any other genocide, say the Holocaust?”

[Dallaire] “There were no death squads, no concentration camps, no concept of living space and inferior races to be cleansed. You had these things with the Nazis. But the Rwandan Genocide was different from any other genocide because it was and still remains a personal genocide. You must understand that the Holocaust was ordered, calculated, planned by a central government. But in Rwanda, these ordinary people, they killed their family, their friends, their neighbors, all in hatred of a group that most historians and linguists consider to be exactly identical to themselves.”

[REDACTED] “It didn’t stop? Not even when the government intervened?”

[Dallaire] “No. It was unlike anything we’ve ever seen. At least the Americans were able to restore order and build up a prosperous Europe. But there… the chaos consumed Zaire, replaced it with the Kivu death-state, all trying to kill as many people as they could get their hands on.

“It won, we lost.”

[REDACTED] ‘Do you know how many were killed in the genocide?”

[Dallaire] “I think there were a thousand in Kigali as we withdrew.”

[REDACTED] “A thousand?”

[Dallaire] “Just from a couple blocks. One thousand bodies, bloated from death. You could see the wounds- lacerations to the head, blows to the sternum. You could see people desecrating them further, others looting the corpses for anything they hadn’t missed. There was even a man collecting heads with a machete. Hacking them off and throwing them into a sack.

[REDACTED] “If I may ask, what exactly happened after Habyarimana’s death?”

[Dallaire] deep breath

“After the president’s death, they hacked Agathe, the prime minister, to pieces, then the UN troops supposed to protect her. I think they were trying to scare me out of the country. Yet...I found myself determined to stay, if only in remembrance for my fallen men. But even that was a difficult task. You see, the UN reduced my command to less than a thousand men. Meanwhile, over 100,000 civilians, both Tutsi and Hutu moderates, were massacred in the span of two weeks. That makes you wonder...what’s the point of the United Nations peacekeeping mission if you can’t defend anyone?

[REDACTED] “If I may ask, what were some of the challenges that you had to face while acting as the head of UNAMIR?”

[Dallaire] “Like I just said. It was restricting, to say the least. UNAMIR, the UN command in Rwanda, couldn’t act, couldn’t intervene and stop thousands from being slaughtered with machetes, saws, AKs, whatever the Hutus had in hand. The Interahamwe mocked us as we went on our patrols, butchering Tutsis in front of us because they knew that our hand was forcefully stayed. We could have done something… but we were there on UN orders, and the UN prevented us from doing what was right.”

[REDACTED] “When UNAMIR was reorganized into UNAMIZ-C, how did you manage cooperating with the now de jure DRC?”

[Dallaire] “There was no managing. It was chaos. I don’t know how to describe it- a complete breakdown of order- you know how corrupt Mobutu was, how he embezzled billions of dollars and lived like an emperor while his people starved. Any hope I had of suppressing the Interahamwe was snuffed out when the UN reinstated the same laws we had been bound by in Rwanda- no direct intervention. We had to watch as the Interahamwe butchered UN troops. They won in Rwanda, they were charged up on victorious adrenaline. Every time we headed into Kivu, we knew we could come home in a bodybag. But we were UN peacekeepers for a reason, and even if we couldn’t do anything meaningful we had to try.”

[REDACTED] “What followed after the reassignment?”

[Dallaire] “The Rwandans followed the Interahamwe into Zaire. They were after Mobutu and the Tutsi, you see. Goma, Kisangani, Mbandaka, and finally Kinshasa- everywhere the Rwandans went, they left a trail of death behind them.

[REDACTED] “You described in an interview a couple months back about shaking hands with the devil, could you elaborate on that?”

[Dallaire] “When I shook hands with them, the Interahamwe leaders that is, their hands were cold. Their hands weren’t physically cold, no, but their stares were blank, empty. It was like someone was occupying their bodies, making them do things that no one should ever do, let alone witness.”

[REDACTED] “Someone, was occupying the body? And who might that be?”

[Dallaire] “....the devil. That’s the closest description I could make. I was shaking hands with the personification of all that is evil, all that is hateful, and all that is wrong, not just in society, but all of...all of reality. And yet I did it. For the sake of peace…. I shook hands with men who butchered innocent children… who created their so-called peace with the deaths of millions…

[REDACTED] “Subject has staring deeply at [REDACTED] for over 5 minutes now. Attempt to get him out of it begins.”




[REDACTED] Romeo. Romeo. Romeo. Respond!

[Dallaire] “...right. The interview...carry on. ”

[REDACTED] “Well you did mention that you are undergoing intense treatment for PTSD, I underst-”

[Dallaire] “No. You don’t . Not at all. You didn’t see the Rwandans kill their own countrymen. You weren’t there on a UN mission, which despite its intended mission, utterly failed to keep the piece. I watched Tutsi women get openly raped, their tormentors daring us to come closer as we watched. My men…one of my men, barely twenty-two, he went back to base and blew his brains out. He was the first… and since the end of the Congo War, the rest of my men followed suit. Not a single man I commanded is alive today.

[Dallaire stops before speaking again.]

“To this day, I can’t even look at myself in the mirror for too long, because I see the faces. The ones who screamed for help, for mercy, or just a quick death. The first successful genocide happened in front of me while I watched like a goddamn tourist. And you know what? Now, the Interahamwe are marching into Burundi, the result of the UN refusing to check them while they had a chance. The UN’s supposed to ensure peace, for Christ’s sake...they could have done something.”

I could have done something.”

And now for TheKutku's Entry

"Hutus of Burundi, I bring grave news today, the Inkotanyi have seized the city of Muramvya, ancestral home of the Tutsi Bami kings of Urundi who came from Ethiopia ages ago and seized your, and our, land and depleted it with their wasteful cattle, for centuries they shackled us through their feudal Buhake, an ethnic segregation which would have been shameful even for South Africa, and drove us to the bottom of the society in our own motherland.

Us Rwandans have been fortunate, we managed to evict the Tutsi monarchy and their lackeys out of this country during the 1959 revolution, becoming free once again after generations of dark age, but you, Brothers and Sisters in Burundi have been less so: Taken by the same liberating fervor as us, your hopes were dashed by Tutsi nepotistic militarists who did not replace the old oppression but doubled down on it, they devised a killing machine of an army which murdered hundreds of thousands of your Hutu peers in 1972 and continues to rule you with fear.

But fear can only do so much, a minority cannot endlessly suppress a majority, and the time has come for the Abahutu to reclaim their ancestral lands, we bring you the light that will lead you to freedom and equality through revolutions, like the one we Rwandan started in 1959, and finished in 1994, but this light will stay dim if you do not overcome the one weapons the Tutsi use to keep you down: fear, fear of their reprisal, fear of their army, but what do we have to fear? We Hutu outnumber them! So, Hutu of Burundi and the great lakes, crush this fear, become fearless and strike the Tutsi to elevate yourselves as the rightful master of your ancestral land!"

- Ndekezi "Bonaparte" Biguma, Writer and announcer for "Radio des milles collines" in 1994, "Ministre de la propagande et des médias" of the Hutu Republic of Rwanda between 1998 and 2005

Here's an English version of the map above

Inkotanyi = RPF forces
Inyenzi = cockroaches, Tutsi Refugees/RPF forces/all tutsi​
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