Week 47 – Magellan

Ferdinand Magellan, in his original Portuguese form Fernão de Magalhães, was the man who led the first circumnavigation around the world. This week is all about the age of discovery and the great explorers from the 15 to 17th century.

Christopher Columbus is the most well-known explorers, yet we picked Magellan as a less obvious choice.

I’ve always been fascinated by Magellan. It’s with certainty to discover a route South of America that he led his expedition to success. Moreover, we now know that Columbus wasn’t the first European to set foot in America. While I don’t want to reduce the significance of the (re-)discovery of America by Columbus, I find that circumnavigating the world is one of the most important milestones towards a globally connected world.

That said, Magellan didn’t complete his voyage. Indeed he was killed in the Philippines while trying to force indigenous populations to convert to Christianism. This reminds us of the barbary at work behind those expeditions and on which our modern society is built. (If you want to learn more about Magellan and his expedition around the world, I can only warmly recommend reading his biography by Stefan Zweig)

For this week though, I wanted to focus on the more positive aspect and create an image about exploration and the thrill of discovering new places previously unexplored.

Aira exploring the Arctic on her ship.
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