Artist creates world map of controversial stereotypes

May 28, 2014

From sheep lovers to leprechauns, Martin Vargic parodies prevalent stereotypes in Western society

Martin Vargic

An artist from Slovakia has created a world map showcasing the most prevalent Western stereotypes about countries, regions and ethnicities across the globe.

Martin Vargic spent months completing the detailed map, which is labelled with more than 1,800 controversial stereotypes, in an attempt to highlight the absurdity of reducing a nation to a single association.

Ukraine is labelled "Putin's Precious", while Spain is synonymous with animal abuse and Mexico with tacos. Canada is mostly maple syrup, moose and ice hockey, while China is labelled "Factory" and Brazil is stamped with "Samba", "Booty Jigglers" and "Dora the Explorer".

Among the labels on England are "Fish & Chips" and "Big Ben", while Ireland is branded "Gingers".

Vargic stressed that the Map of Stereotypes does not reflect his personal opinions but is a parody of the most common and prevalent stereotypes and pop culture references in Western society.

He told The Week that the "majority of stereotypes are basically oversimplifications and, though they are based on a real phenomenon, it is wrong to associate them with the entire country, nation, race or other group of people".

Vargic points out that the map itself, which has the UK at its centre, shows the world from the "point of view of a stereotypical westerner". He believes it is the first of its kind on such a scale, and plans to improve and update it in the coming years.

The map, inspired by Yanko Tsvetkov's Atlas of Prejudice, also includes six mini-maps that detail alcohol intake per capita, cigarettes smoked per capita and average human weight.

"Well worth a zoom around," says The Independent.

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