How do we find our way around strange worlds?
Colonial authorities in Dutch New Guinea tried to find their way with surveying tools, but they found they really needed local guides.
Southeast Asian refugees learned to forage in U.S. Pacific Northwest forests—in part by scattering small artifacts: their trash.
Muslims in France erect barriers to conduct Friday prayers in the public space of the streets. But officials cordon them off further, relocating them to distant buildings.
Eighteenth century Catholic fathers set Native Americans to making roof tiles in a design that comes straight from Spain. Yet the lines plowed by native fingers across the clay are still evident.
We all make worlds, but not under conditions chosen by ourselves. We must navigate in both senses of the term: to plan a course and also to make our way through circumstances directly encountered, given, or transmitted
from the past.
Emerging worlds combine and confuse diverse historical trajectories. They forge the grounds on which hybrid and unprecedented forms of navigation arise.