New exhibit at Galt Museum in Lethbridge explores maps of fantasy worlds

Click to play video: '‘Worlds Imagined’ opens at Galt Museum' ‘Worlds Imagined’ opens at Galt Museum
WATCH ABOVE: The Galt Museum’s newest exhibit takes visitors into imaginary worlds with maps of fictional places. Jasmine Bala has more – Sep 26, 2019

Maps of places that exist only in your imagination are now on display at the Galt Museum. They’re part of a new exhibit called Worlds Imagined: The Maps of Imaginary Places.

“It explores different imaginary worlds that have been created as part of literature, as part of video games, films, etc,” said Aimee Benoit, the museum’s curator.

Visitors are able to examine about 50 maps of places like Hogwarts from the Harry Potter series, J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth and the Skyrim universe.

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Worlds Imagined is different than the Galt’s usual exhibits that are focused on real, historical events. Benoit, however, notes these maps have their own historical value.

“These are worlds that don’t even exist that we’re talking about here, so it’s a little bit different from the worlds we usually interpret,” she said.

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“In this case, I think the imaginary places are also part of our shared history and our shared memory, so it’s something that everyone can relate to.”

Not only are these fictional stories part of our history, but they allow us to connect with each other on a deeper level.

“It highlights the [part of the] brain that connects with empathy and relationship building, so anything that activates that really gives us more empathy into other people’s lives,” said Barbara Longair, a librarian at the Lethbridge Public Library.

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Although the focus of the exhibit are the maps, the Iron Throne — made popular in the TV show Game of Thrones — is also making an appearance, taking visitors further into the world of fantasy.

“It’s just an invitation for people to think about how these imaginary worlds are part of our shared culture and our shared history and [how] we connect to them in a personal way,” said Benoit.

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“I hope that people will find something that resonates with them and excites them about literature or games or books they’re familiar with.”

The exhibit runs until Jan. 5, 2020.

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