The Mind Map section of this website exhibition zeroes in on the ways Colin Ross ‘inflected’ the format of the travelogue, whether in book, article, film or lecture form, with a number of, often interrelated, considerations. The most prominent strand was that of geopolitics, a (pseudo-) science that gained enormous popularity in Germany in the early 20th century. With its central ideas of a people’s struggle for space and resources it had wide appeal after the country’s defeat in World War I and the postwar reparations and seizure of territories. As a famed author Ross was nicknamed “the scout of geopolitics” for the popularization of these and other ideas. Among these was the notion of race, about which Ross was ambiguous, to say the least, as he veered from extreme dismissiveness (particularly of African Americans) to the acknowledgment that (white) racial superiority is a self-serving fiction. Another of the strands in his output is that of Deutschtum, or ‘Germandom’, about which he wrote and spoke particularly in relation to German expats (and their history) wherever he found them on the globe.
13 key topics in Ross’s media production have been traced in four case studies, each containing a selection of annotated media objects by and about Ross, arranged by media types. By this, the media objects are located on a mind map, providing some points of orientation in Ross’s output.