Argentines are the butt of a whole host of jokes that highlight their pompous attitude towards the rest of humanity. “Want to kill an Argentine? Push him off his ego.” And it goes on. So it should not have come as a surprise when Minister of Defense Agustín Rossi presented a new world map with Argentina in the center of the world.
To be fair, the world map has historically been euro centric (or “Northern Hemisphere-centric if you will) and this obviously seems unfair to many around the world whose lives are not centered around Europe (and especially for those who have subjugated by Europe.) The Earth is spherical, and flattening it to create a flat projection is prone to problems. The West Wing clip below provides an informative and entertaining explanation of the flaws inherent in creating a flat world map, and the introduction of alternative projections to the widely-accepted Mercator projection, such as the Gall-Peters projection.
In presenting his new map, Rossi covers the same points as our friends from The West Wing. Except instead of attempting to improve upon the current standard, his take away was that the logical “healthy exercise” to undertake was to create a world map centered on Argentina and in proportion with the objective of “de-colonizing our point of view and demonstrating other perspectives”.
While I’m always in favor of new perspectives, it appears to me that this new Rossi world map projection may in fact fail miserably in performing some of the basic functions of a map. China, the third largest country by area in the world, is barely squeezed in up on the top right corner, and Korea and Japan don’t feature nearly as prominently as the Falklands/Malvinas. The Pacific Islands are fairly well featured, but forget the Asian coastlines, they have been swallowed whole by Argentina’s ego.
Rossi endeavored to “refute the external point of view, imposed by the powerful” rather than create something of value.
Maps are tools to understand the world. The Rossi projection is a tool to illustrate the height of this administration’s arrogance.