When I first started this project, I didn’t know where it would lead or what people I would meet. This first walk is of a Shanghainese friend, Maggie, who was interested in my project. The concept was simple- walk in a place that you have fond memories of and talk about it. What I did know was that this was not going to be another ‘audio tour’, it was more like an ‘audio diary’.
From the beginning, I knew that this recording was going to be amazing. We started in an abandoned apartment complex that was ready to be demolished for the future expansion of Xujiahui- a growing epicenter of shopping malls and electronics stores. The complex was quiet, save for a few families who have taken residence here until the demolition starts. The government relocated these people a while ago and have since gutted and prepared these buildings for demolition. It was her first time there since she had left and it was interesting to see the actual locations where here memories were took place.
We continued along the route she would take to go to her nearby language school. The streets were bustling with daily life with the sound of restaurants were preparing for the coming lunch hour and people returning home from the local vegetable market to cook for their loved ones. Her memories along this road were quite small and intimate- buying stamps at the local post office and the vegetable market where her mother used to shop. As we get deeper into the residential neighborhood, you can hear the amount of street noise drop and become more quiet ending on the busy, noisy road of Panyu Lu.
Since this was the first recording, it was edited the most. Portions have been cut where the recording was paused. I have deliberately emphasized this with a few seconds of silence as an indication that a small amount of time has passed.