Cartography N°7


Tuscany and Corsica
New York

You see tolerance at its best when you watch different religions living in harmony. The proper nickname for the city, though, should be “cultural synergy”, since different cultures live together, side by side. And, quite easily, their harmony reminds me of jazz: there’s always a moment for individual improvisation, and it never destroys the melody.

The seventh edition of Cartography opens up with one of the world’s last hidden empires, Ethiopia, for a long time closed off from the international community. A 9-day visit to that mysterious and ancestral land, from the capital Addis Ababa – which means “new flower” in Amharic, to the tribespeople of the Lower Valley of the Omo, the Mursi, Kara, Hamar and Nyangatom communities living by the river. The  journey continues, from the desolate wastes of the Maremman province to the island of Corsica, to the northern edge of the Nebbio and Cap Corse: a summery retreat in a former 13th century convent to reach some kind of beatitude or bee. There’s a big Russian grocery store on the edge of Brighton Beach, deep in Brooklyn, off the Q train, near the water. You can get caviar by the Monster Energy drink, apples near the dill, Greek yogurt by the Cyrillic ones. There’s a lot to get out of changing it up, going to a neighborhood you might not usually go to, and exploring. How different is it?