Kal's Official Color Your Own Election Map, a playful political artifact from 2006, issued by the Walters Museum of Art, imbues the electoral landscape of the United States with a lighthearted, interactive approach. This unusual map features cartoon portraits of George W. Bush and Bill Clinton, placing them within the context of the broader political landscape, and intriguingly invites the owner to add their personal touch with color.
The map captures a specific moment in the U.S. political zeitgeist, reflecting the contested landscapes and cultural idiosyncrasies that make up the American electoral system. With phrases and symbols ranging from "Lumberjack" in the North, "[Liberal] Latte" on the West Coast, to "Nascar" and "BBQ" in the South, it caricatures regional stereotypes and political allegiances. These whimsical inscriptions provide a snapshot of the sociopolitical climate and popular culture of the mid-2000s.
Interestingly, the map features a variety of culturally significant names, places, and phrases, evoking the complex tapestry of American society. From "Rudy" and "Sopranos" in the Northeast to "Lake Wobegon" in the upper Midwest, and even a space lamenting that "The Midwest which previously held this space has been permanently outsourced," it playfully weaves together a narrative of national and regional identities.
In a delightful twist, Kal's Official Color Your Own Election Map says it comes with crayons -- big red and blue crayons and a minuscule green one.
In conclusion, Kal's Official Color Your Own Election Map offers a whimsical yet insightful look into the multifaceted nature of American political culture. It is a tangible record of its time, capturing the complexity and diversity of the U.S. political landscape through an engaging, interactive medium.