Geographical Imaginations

To assume that we are entitled to speak only of what we know by virtue of
our own experience is not only to reinstate an empiricism: it is to
institutionalize parochialism. Most of us have not been very good at
listening to others and learning from them, but the present challenge is
surely to find ways of comprehending those other worlds—including our
relations with them and our responsibilities toward them—without being
invasive, colonizing and violent. If we are to free ourselves from
universalizing our own parochialisms, we need to learn how to reach
beyond particularities, to speak of larger questions without diminishing the
significance of the places and the people to which they are accountable. In
doing so, in enlarging and examining our geographical imaginations, we
might come to realize not only that our lives are ‘radically entwined with
the lives of distant strangers’ but also that we bear a continuing and unavoidable responsibility for their needs in times of distress.

– Gregory, D., Geographical Imaginations, 205.

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