Red and Black Map

What is this image saying?

This image was created to illustrate an article in The Times this week. What do you think that article was about? What clues in this image tell you that? What parts of the image are especially interesting to you? Does anything about it spark your own imagination somehow? What does it make you think of?

Tell us in the comments, then read the related article to see if your guess was right, and to learn more.