Disputed Territories


‘Abroad, Google Maps has waded into raw, tender issues of national identity. For example, take its depiction of Crimea on maps.google.com, where a dashed line reflects the U.S. view that the area is an occupied territory. But in Russia, on maps.google.ru, the boundary line is solid — Russia has officially annexed Crimea. “We work to provide as much discoverable information as possible so that users can make their own judgments about geopolitical disputes,” wrote Robert Boorstin, the director of Google’s public policy team, in an interview with Washington Monthly. Maps served from Russian servers must adhere to Russian laws and the Russian worldview, according to Google. But the company can’t possibly create enough maps to make everyone happy. Below, we’ve collected notable examples of how Google’s maps of disputed territories differ depending on who’s looking at them.’

See examples at

Seiichi Furuya: Staatsgrenze


On 4 July 1982, polish refugees—an agricultural pilot, his wife, and his daughter—landed near Vienna in a helicopter. A thunderstorm and low-altitude flying while crossing over the CSSR made their adventure possible. Langenzersdorf, 1982 image by Seiichi Furuya

In 1980, Dlubač Milan, a twenty-two-year-old Czech, attempted to swim across the swollen Morava River, which he succeeded in doing at the cost of his life. Marchegg, 1981 image by Seiichi Furuya


Austria borders on seven foreign countries:
the Federal Republic of Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, Yugoslavia, Italy, Switzerland and Liechtenstein representing most diverse political systems: countries of the so-called Eastern Bloc, one non-aligned state, the NATO countries, a neutral state and a principality.

Artificially drawn political borders have always played an important role for mankind and probably will continue to do so as long as man exists. Such borders, I believe, will only lose their importance when common defense against an extraterrestrial enemy is called for.

The 1640-mile-long Austrian border is far less brutal than, for example, the Berlin border, where a concrete wall cruelly cuts a city in half. It is even beautiful, romantic, inconspicuous, but in this quiet landscape one feels the silent, sad facts more than in Berlin.

On my trips along the border I have tried to find places where there have been tragic incidences, and to find out personal stories to give myself a chance to think about the “border” phenomenon.

Seiichi Furuya, 1983

Check the the project online or see it in as a book recently published by Spector Books
What kind of impact does it create to publish ‘border projects’ from the 80s in the 2010s?
Does the distance of time create also the distance of memories?