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Subscribe to My Newsletter! // Mapuccino: Collection


During impeachment hearings, we heard via Gordon Sondland that our president "doesn't give a s---" about Ukraine and only cares about the "big stuff". That's when I started sketching this piece.

Ukraine holds a special place in my heart. I was an exchange student there in 1994. I met some wonderful people who opened their doors to us. Times were tough then. The Ukrainian kupon was worthless. Three years after the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukrainians were still searching for their national identity. The Ukrainian language was something that "only our grandparents speak."

Fast forward 25 years. Ukraine is a fledgling democracy but with a renewed national identity. The Ukrainian language is making a comeback. But times are still tough. 13,000 people have been killed in the conflict with Russia. And to top it off, it is a country that is constantly caught in chaos emanating from the East and the West.

They deserve much more than the games we play with them.

This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Migrants: Family Separation

The Northern Triangle refers to the countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, where more than 50% of migrants at our border hail from. As the murder capital of the world, life in the Northern Triangle can be bleak. Starting with the USA's 1954 overthrow of Guatemala's democratic government, we are to blame for many of its problems. Our government's hardline policies on immigration, including the forced separation of families, aren't helping at all. They will have psychological repercussions for an entire generation. Packing all of that into this piece was a humbling challenge. Routes head north from the Northern Triangle, then devolve into nothingness. This represents the people in our communities who are hiding in fear. Stops are chaotically scattered off the grid. This represents the detained migrants who've been haphazardly separated from their families. (Our government lost track of 1500 children under its care.) This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Journalists: Closeup 1 Journalists: Closeup 2

2018 has been a rough year for journalists. As totalitarianism rises, their lives come under threat. The Committee to Protect Journalists tracked 53 journalists killed over the past year with a confirmed motive. (That means that many more died on the job, but 53 were killed purely over their journalistic work.) That's a 13% increase over last year. I created this piece in their memory. They are clustered by the country where they perished: Afghanistan, Brazil, Central African Republic, Colombia, India, Libya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Somalia, Syria, USA, and Yemen. To me, the location is secondary to what binds them: "Truth", and their calling to set it free.

Hover over the countries above to see the journalists' names. Closeups show the 4 Americans, all killed in the same incident at the Capital Gazette in Annapolis. The two largest clusters are Afghanistan (13) and Syria (9), two places that sorely need their stories to be told.

This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Diversity: Neo-Confederate
Diversity: General Hate Diversity: Ku Klux Klan Diversity: Anti-Muslim
Diversity: Christian Identity Diversity: White Nationalist Diversity: Neo-Nazi
Diversity: Anti-LGBT Diversity: Racist Skinhead Diversity: Black Separatist

I was inspired to create this series after reading a copy of the Southern Poverty Law Center's annual intelligence report. They've tracked hate groups in the US for decades and, surprise, 2016 saw an uptick. Reading over their catalog, you're overwhelmed not only by the sheer number, but also the diversity of groups today. Ironic, isn't it? That our country now has such "diversity" in its hate groups. This was my self-imposed creative challenge: turn "diversity" on its head with a rainbow of maps. These prints are not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Sanctuary Cities of New England

I recently attended a rally for my city (Somerville, MA) in support of its sanctuary status. That's a dangerous position to hold in these days of revenge politics. People are scared our federal funding will be cut. But our public officials are holding firm. I've never been prouder of Somerville than hearing our mayor say to the crowd, "We'll go to jail for you." That meant a lot to me and I'm sure a lot more to any refugees in the crowd of 4,800. This piece is dedicated to the many cities in our region that have taken similar positions. The irony is that I pulled this data mainly from nativist websites that track sanctuary practices in order to harass public officials. So even though there are cities here whose officials have shied away from the label "sanctuary city", the fact that they ruffle nativist feathers is good enough for me. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.


Divisions: no society can avoid them forever. Sometimes it takes outsiders to exploit them (e.g. British colonialism in India giving rise to religious and caste violence). Other times they surface completely from within. I feel that's what's happening in our country today. The subway lines in these prints map out the states that went "red" vs. "blue". They are purposely meant to resemble cracks. The titles are translations of "Deplorables" and "Snowflakes", two popular insults hurled throughout this election. The fact that they are in two different languages is indicative of the "bubbles" we've allowed to form and how foreign we are to each other. I hope that we can heal from this. By placing these juvenile labels front-and-center, I hope we can laugh at them. Granted these divisions are too great for humor alone to overcome, but you have to start somewhere, right? This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.


The title is an excerpt from the poem "First they came..." written by Pastor Martin Niemöller after World War II. At the time, it was his expression of guilt for German intellectuals not speaking out more against the Holocaust. To me, it's grown to become one of the most beautiful expressions of empathy, one that is sorely needed during this latest humanitarian crisis in Syria. In my mind, empathy distills down to one question: "People are suffering, what can we do?" The stops on this map represent most of the countries that have taken in refugees. Those that are larger have answered that call emphatically. (Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan have each taken in well over a million refugees.) Those that are smaller have not. (The US has only accepted a few thousand.) Here's hoping that in the end, empathy wins out over mistrust, and that history does not have to repeat itself. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

New Orleans, Modified

This is a modified version of my New Orleans Mapuccino. It's hard to talk about New Orleans without mentioning Katrina. I decided to do something different with this city map, washing out neighborhoods worst affected based on flood data. I like that the manipulation looks like a fog over the city. I think that for those who love this city, the future is unclear - like a fog - and we just hope and cheer as this city gets back on its feet. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Love You

How could I resist?! 6"x4.25" glossy cards (blank inside) are available for $3.50 each or $12.50 for a 5-pack (free U.S. shipping + handling!). 11"x17" signed digital prints are also available for $15 (plus $5 U.S. shipping + handling).

Curious about which languages are featured? See the 'Thank You' cards above.

Individual Cards:
             5 Card Packs:
             Prints ($15):

I was driving around East Baltimore recently and passed by one of those old benches that reads, "Baltimore: The Greatest City in America." I had to shake my head. The paint was peeling, most of the slats were missing, and it was surrounded by urban decay. You forget how bad it is when you haven't been back in a while: blocks upon blocks of dilapidated, boarded-up, crumbling buildings. The focus of the Great Recession was all about Detroit, but Baltimore is not much further down on the list of cities hemorrhaging people. It's sad. Here in Boston, you read about parking spots in Back Bay going for half-a-million and millennials renting $1600 micro-apartments. Even in the worst neighborhoods in Boston, abandoned buildings are an anomaly. Makes you wonder, why not here in Baltimore? The answer is complex and probably way over my head, but you have to think that it starts with the basics, like public safety. Baltimore had over 1100 murders over the past 4 years. If you stand on one of these 25 street corners, you're at ground zero. So until that changes, nothing else will. The city will keep stenciling slogans on benches: Charm City, The City That Reads. But people will know better: Harm City, The City That Bleeds. Bodymore, Murdaland. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me. T-Shirts are though!

T-Shirts ($17+):
Go to Red Bubble

This year's theme is gun violence (though 2014 is not so unique in that respect). Gun violence headlines this year have ranged from the ghastly - Elliot Rodger's rampage at UC Santa Barbara - to the depressingly ordinary - Detroit is now on par with El Salvador for murder rate - to the tragically controversial - 12-year-old Tamir Rice. Gun violence is so enmeshed in our culture that it feels as if there's no turning back, no compromises to be made. 12,000+ gun deaths this year, mostly across these 15 "murder capitals" - a proud part of our culture. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me. T-Shirts are though!

T-Shirts ($17+):
Go to Red Bubble
2 Americas

Democrat vs. Republican. Occupy vs. Tea Party. 1% vs. 99%. Sometimes it seems like we're coming apart at the seams. For the first time in history, the 400 richest Americans own more wealth than the rest of us combined. It makes one wonder how we can sustain ourselves with such overwhelming disparity. I pored over a lot of census data for this Mapuccino. The cities on the gray line have the highest percentage of families living below the poverty line, some over 30%. The cities on the green line were recently touted as the poshest zip codes to live in; net worths: $1.3mil+. Two lines, no transfers - two Americas. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Wrong Side Of The Tracks

I created this Mapuccino after reading an article about the 25 worst neighborhoods in America. It got me thinking about public transportation and the disadvantaged. In some cities like Washington D.C., some public transit options are meant to keep the poor away from the rich (legend has it there is no subway stop in Georgetown because the affluent residents complained). In other cities like Boston, poor neighborhoods are given disjointed public transit options that don't quite fit with the rest of the system (I'm referring to the "Silver Line" - "rapid transit" only in name, it's really a bus!). So my attempt was to create a subway map of these most dangerous neighborhoods not to poke fun at their residents, but to help us ponder what might happen if all of the worst neighborhoods had better rapid transit options. There've been a number of studies showing how rapid transit can greatly improve a neighborhood. Some have even described Davis Square "seedy" before the Red Line arrived! This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

Green Lines

"Green Lines" is dedicated to our national parks - all 58 of them - from Acadia to Zion. I found the idea of mixing nature with an urban construct (a subway) amusing. You'll probably never see a subway stop at "Old Faithful", but I've heard there's a Starbucks in Yosemite! An 11"x17" signed digital print is available for $15 (plus $5 U.S. shipping + handling). T-Shirts too!

Prints ($15):
             T-Shirts ($17+):
Go to Red Bubble
Blue Lines

It's been a crazy few months years. The 2010 midterm elections saw the largest loss of House seats since 1938. As the 112th Congress swings into session, I wondered which cities held their ground with the strongest "blue" districts. This Mapuccino is dedicated to those cities. An 11"x17" signed digital print is available for $15 (plus $5 U.S. shipping + handling). Get 'em while they're hot!

Prints ($15):
Red Lines

And which cities flexed their "red" muscles this last election? "Red Lines" is dedicated to those cities that turned the tide. An 11"x17" signed digital print is also available for $15 (plus $5 U.S. shipping + handling). I think Rodney King said it best...

Prints ($15):

It's still hard to believe that 9/11 happened almost ten years ago. It seems like a long time, but to me and I'm sure many others, the killing of its mastermind reminded me how quickly memories can resurface. One emotion I can recall is the deep sense of unity in the days that followed, particularly because so many citizens of other countries also died that day. I wanted to create a mapuccino that tied these countries together. This piece more than any other takes the greatest liberties with the subway map motif. I purposely wanted to obscure the names of the countries, so that the form of the lines would take precedence. I decided to make all of the lines one color - a somber black - to represent the common thread this tragedy created between us. At the same time, I'm also reminded of a web that entangles everyone within it, reminiscent of countless photos of the tangled mess left behind that day. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

2012 Another Good Ride

Similar to my 2010 edition, this Mapuccino celebrates the good news of 2012. Flip on the evening news, and it's easy to overlook. This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.

2010 It Was A Good Ride

This Mapuccino commemorates the passing of the year 2010. I was attempting to create a Mapuccino of positive news stories about world events. It was actually harder than I thought, good news is hard to find! Objectively, it was a tough year for everyone, but despite everything, this piece was meant to remind us that "it was (still) a good ride." This print is not for sale, but if you're interested in a print, contact me.


© 2021 Rajiv Raman. All Rights Reserved.