‘Yoga cults, cougars, gangland’: Judgmental Map of Vancouver stirs the pot
Published Monday, March 28, 2016 3:05PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, March 28, 2016 7:38PM PDT
A controversial map that labels Metro Vancouver by its cultural – and racial - stereotypes has gone viral on social media, creating a conversation between those that find the map offensive and those that find it accurate.
The creator of the Judgmental Map of Vancouver is local artist Laura Zerebreski, who says she designed the map when she was feeling down and alienated in an unaffordable city.
“A lot of people thought it was absolutely hilarious,” she told CTV News. “Some people might look at this map and say you don't like this city at all? No, I love this city.”
The Judgmental Map Tumblr account, which is run by a group of people who are “proud to label ourselves among the best of the best judgmental as*****s out there,” then published the map.
The concept is simple: anyone can submit a map, label different areas in a stereotypical fashion, and then voila – the “the best pieces to keep readers laughing for years to come” are published. Map creators are free to remain anonymous, as long as they follow the instructions to “Judge everyone – don’t leave anyone out!”
Some of the descriptions on the Vancouver map are harmless, and poke fun at the area’s residents, and lifestyle.
“Quinoa” and “Yoga Cults” are labelled over parts of Kitsilano, while “Hipsters” and “Hipster Overflow” is the Main Street/East Vancouver area. Yaletown is marked by “Tiny Yappy Dogs,” while Fairview is split between “Yuppies” and “Old Leaky Condos.”
“Realtor Vultures” is the Shaughnessy/Kerrisdale area, as is “Tear-down Mansions.” The Lions Gate Bridge is simply labelled: “Traffic Gong Show.”
Then there are labels that push the politically-correct envelope a bit more: “Persian Royalty” is part of West Vancouver, a section of North Vancouver is labelled “Cougars” (while slightly closer to the mountains is listed as “Actual Cougars,”) “Praise Jesus!” is marked as the way to Abbotsford, and Surrey is simply “Gangland.”
A span over Port Coquitlam, the former home of serial killer Willie Pickton, is labelled “Gruesome Pig Farm: Bikers and Cut-Up Dead Chicks.”
Other labels directly target race: Richmond is deemed “Asia,” with the sub-region of “Blind Chinese Drivers”, “Saris Turbans Vindaloo” is South Vancouver, “Indian Land” is the Musquem reserve near the University of British Columbia.
Zerebreski says she’s received a lot of support for her map, but admits not everyone has been thrilled.
“Some people say ‘that’s disgusting, you should be ashamed of yourself’,” she said. “I am ashamed, but it’s not me – it’s what’s out there.”
Zerebreski adds she has no regrets about making or posting the map – but now she’s going to focus on her paintings.
Two other city maps have also been published, and a vote is on to determine the most accurate portrayal of Metro Vancouver.
Vancouver isn’t the only city to have been turned into a judgmental map – West Hollywood, the San Fernando Valley, and New York City are just a few of the other maps that have been created.
With files from CTV Vancouver’s St. John Alexander