The Nuclear Club

The Nuclear Club is a radical map that focuses on mapping the possession of nuclear weapons in the world. It was produced in 1981 as part of the Pluto Project that started by a radical British publishing houses known as the Pluto Press, which aimed to promote radical social changes. The Nuclear Club is a radical map because while condemning the war and destructive powers, it also attacks traditional ideas of maps by abandoning all the features of conventional maps and focusing on expose cartographers’ value of the society, politics, and war to the surface.

This map reveals cartographers’ intention of emphasizing the role of central Europe in the Cold War and criticizing the use of nuclear power. The bold and vibrant colors and the bomb icons highlight the tension of the Cold War. Moreover, The Europe centered projection and the magnified area of Europe reflect that the conflict between the superpowers and the nuclear weapons were threatening European countries.

By constructing The Nuclear Club and other maps in the Pluto Project, the group showed their attention on protesting against states’ enormous power during the climax of the Cold War and after it as well as so-called objective, scientific and realistic maps.


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1 Response to The Nuclear Club

  1. Logan Didier says:

    This map is especially important, as mentioned by Anni, because it was released during the climax of the Cold War. Even more interesting is that 1981 was only a couple years after the Soviet Union deployed 130 SS-20 missiles to the western part of the Soviet Union and allied Warsaw Pact states, which in turn caused much alarm for the NATO alliance, who was relying on the fact of nuclear superiority to deter the Soviets from having nuclear dominance in the world. Therefore, NATO deployed several hundred Pershing II missiles to act as deterrence, maintaining the Cold War as a cold war. Although this map was, and still is, considered radical in nature, there was some truth within it, and much can be learned about radical movements in the 1980’s by uncovering the connotations behind this map.

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