Pigeons as City Boroughs


The Museum of London has an ongoing display of hand-drawn maps that runs until September 11, 2011.  The exhibit is a partnership with Londonist.com which solicited entries from readers showing hand-drawn depictions of London.  The result was a collection of eleven maps featuring topics such as a map of “Selected Loos of London” a perspective by Paula Simoes on the declining state of public toilets in London.

One interesting map submission was a portrayal of pigeons whose outlines form the boundaries of London’s boroughs.  The map was created by Rewati Shahani who was inspired to use pigeons in a cartographic setting to depict London, explaining:

Pigeons, at least in the sense of the unattractive and dirty ‘London pigeon’, are an urban creation; a far cry form the plump, infinitely more charming wood pigeons found outside cities in the countryside. Whether Londoners or visitors hold affection or repulsion for these scrawny, grime-blackened birds, they remain a prevalent feature of London’s urban landscape – and character.

Map of London Using Pigeons by Rewati Shahani.

Map of London Using Pigeons by Rewati Shahani.



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