Author Talk: Laura Bliss — The Quarantine Atlas: Mapping Global Life Under COVID-19

Event

Location

Rabb Lecture Hall, Central Library-Boylston Street Building

Date

Mar 1, 2023

Time

6:00 EST

Cost

Free

Cross-listed event
This event is co-organized with BPL Adult Programs.

About this event

Writer and journalist Laura Bliss will discuss her recent book, The Quarantine Atlas: Mapping Global Life Under COVID-19, which explores reader-submitted maps of their lives during the coronavirus pandemic. For this discussion, Bliss will be joined by Boston-based mapmaker and artist Rajiv Raman and writer Garnette Cadogan.

Following the talk, there will be time for audience Q&A, and the program will conclude at 7PM with an author signing facilitated by an independent bookstore partner.

The Quarantine Atlas includes more than 65 homemade maps created by people around the globe. Each map reveals how the coronavirus pandemic transformed our physical and emotional worlds, in ways both universal and unique.

The Quarantine Atlas includes more than 65 homemade maps created by people around the globe. Each map reveals how the coronavirus pandemic transformed our physical and emotional worlds, in ways both universal and unique.

About the book

In April 2020, Bloomberg CityLab journalists Laura Bliss and Jessica Martin asked readers to submit homemade maps of their lives during the coronavirus pandemic. The response was illuminating and inspiring. The 400+ maps and accompanying stories received served as windows into what individuals around the world were experiencing during the crisis and its resonant social consequences. Collectively, these works showed how coronavirus has transformed the places we live, and our relationships to them.

In The Quarantine Atlas, Bliss distills these submissions and pairs them with essays by writers including Jenny Odell, Destiny Thomas and Geoff Manaugh, as well as notes from the original mapmakers. The result is an enduring visual record of this unprecedented moment in human history. It is also a celebration of the act of mapping and the ways maps can help us connect and heal from our shared experience. Read more about the CityLab project and see reader-submitted maps here.

About our guests

Laura Bliss is a writer and journalist who covers cities and the environment. A reporter and editor on staff at Bloomberg CityLab, she also authors the newsletter MapLab, which explores how maps illuminate the world around us. In 2022 she published the book The Quarantine Atlas and hosted the narrative podcast series Bedrock, USA with Bloomberg Media and iHeart Radio. Her work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Businessweek, Wildsam Field Guides: California, and many other publications. She hails from Los Angeles and currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where she is a 2022-2023 Knight Science Journalism Fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Garnette Cadogan is the Tunney Lee Distinguished Lecturer in Urbanism at the School of Architecture and Planning at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research and writing explores the promise and perils of urban life, the vitality and inequality of cities, and the challenges of pluralism.

Rajiv Raman is a sculptor and a graphic designer whose work frequently takes inspiration from subway maps. He lives in Somerville, MA with his wife and their two children.

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