Imaginations of a Country. Spatial Perceptions and Mental Mapping in Herat

  • Andreas Wilde (Autor/in)


This article is based on field research carried out in Herat. It focuses on mental mapping as a means for the investigation of spatial perceptions and illustrates the importance of such perceptions in the context of the regional orientation of one of Afghanistan's key cities and its inhabitants. In discussing contrasts between individual perceptions and collective patterns of mapping, this contribution argues that collective mental maps do not exist, but despite individual dispersions many maps show also structural similarities often reflected by stereotypes. It describes two individual maps with different focus and structure according to time, age and spatial experience against the backdrop of 'collective' attributes in mental mapping.