Maps of places of origin or maps of self
a graphic and conversational analysis
From a psychological point of view asking a person to draw and comment about one's place of origin means to activate a complex narrative re-elaboration that involves cognitive, emotional and relational processes. One's home, neighbourhood and native place represent a peculiar geographical places closely connected with the individual's first significant social relationships. As noted in attachment theory and post-rationalist cognitive approaches, repeated interactions with caregivers play a central role in the way individuals function on an emotional, cognitive and socio-relational level. The graphic representations and conversational analyses of such maps and their descriptions show that to draw and narrate one's place of origin means to think and re-evoke scenes and relational moments that have contributed to the formation and maintenance of consistent, stable and temporally continuous sense of self. Maps of childhood places therefore could be seen as maps of self, that is to say maps of relational events that have led to the strengthening of specific relational and organizational modalities. From this point of view, the main focus of this study – the drawing of and commenting on one's place of origin – constitutes an interesting way to analyse and share personal history and individual functioning, but also a way to re-represent and re-narrate one's personal story, one's relations and self within a relational frame.
Mazzeo, G. (2018). Maps of places of origin or maps of self: a graphic and conversational analysis, in Visual and linguistic representations of places of origin, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 145-178.
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