Historiogrammy - zapomniana forma wizualizacji dziejów
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HISTORIOGRAMMS - A FORGOTTEN FORM OF VISUALISATION OF HISTORY
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In 1830 an atlas called 'Historiogramm des PREUSSISCHEN STAATS von 1280 bis 1830 n. Christus im sinchronistischen Verhältnis zu dem Nachbarstaaten (...)' is published. On 6 tablets it shows the history of Hohenzollern against the background of Central Europe. As indicated by the headings of the tablets, they portray 'rivers of events' (Zeitstrom), which may be joined up to form a coherent whole. Then these rivers 'flow' from top to bottom, that is to say from north to south, toward the sea. In their 'upper' reaches stretching to the middle ages they are winding and narrow, but widen where they become located in the rivers of Hohenzollern, flowing on to the next centuries. Prior to 1830 they connect at the source like a delta. These analogies with nature are further strengthened by the fact that the rivers of Prussian events are blue, while the country and land retain different classificatory colours. Such a presentation reveals the inevitability of historical events governed not by people, but by nature. Against such processes, humankind is powerless and should surrender. History has its own logic and purpose - in the context of which the domination of Prussia in Europe is simply the uniquely revolutionary and consistent unfolding and growth of a nation. Thus, the historiogramm becomes an apologia, in the spirit of Friedrich Hegel, for the Prussian monarchic system. Its presentation of history has didactic value, and is as such a model Biedermaierean creation of ideology. Furthermore, it is an interesting suggestion of the creation of a visual historical narrative, connecting pictures of events with a presentation of the space in which these events occur.
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