law is a narrative. It tells us a story about how the world of wars and anarchy
became a well-ordered community of peace-loving states.
- Really? - would you ask.
- It is not the reality but the story
that matters and this is what the story tells us – would I respond.
beginning of the story were borders, borders drawn on maps; often drawn by
people who knew nothing about the people living on this territory, about their
habits and needs or who did not care. These maps and borders are being drawn
and re-drawn again and again trying to persuade us about the reality,
purposefulness and usefulness of these borders.
GIS is conceptualised
today as participatory or as being able to integrate people’s stories, but then
it always keeps these borders and contributes to their maintenance and
maintenance of injustices associated with this border-making and
Can GIS be
reimagined and used to tell a different story about borders and states? Can GIS
ignore state borders? Can GIS ignore states? Obviously, when GIS focuses on
local, micro level these states and border might become invisible. However, can
we imagine a use of GIS as a tool for creating a global counter-narrative challenging
the story we are told by international law?
on these issues will be mostly guided by my understanding of international law
(I come from within the discipline) and its narrative interpreted through
Giorgio Agamben’s theories on the state of exception and its topology. I will
look at the possibilities that latest qualitative use of GIS opens up and its