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Map of a small town life

November 12, 2012

 

I came up with this map to represent how I experience my town. (Compare how local teenagers drew the same town centre.) To me, my town is a right-triangle. I walk down one side to go to the little shop, bus station or bank as needed, then turn left to go the supermarket or walk down the pedestrian promenade to stop by the boutiques, the pizza place and M’s kiosk. Sometimes I take a short cut, passing by the hair salon and the WWII monument. As far as my daily activities go, the rest of the town doesn’t really exist.

I like the idea of having small photos by each map item as little avatars representing that space. I only have 3 photos.

I only have 3, because one day, as I was walking down the street, a woman shouted out at me–picture a heavy-set, mafia-wife type, mouth full of gum, hands on hips– “hey! you there. Did you take photos of the wooden shacks?” I was confused, until I realized she meant the wooden shacks near the kiosk. No, I explained, I was taking a photo of the kiosk. Which was totally incomprehensible to her. “WHAT? WHAAAAAT?” The kiosk, I repeat. Ki-osk. “Oh yeah, where do you live? you live over there? second floor?”

This happened weeks after I had taken the photo of the kiosk. This woman followed me around and knows where I live. I have never seen her before in my life.

The whole incident really disturbed me. I saw that I am not anonymous in this small town and that I have to be careful not to stand out. Amateur geography, in a town where you actually live, poses some challenges.

This is why I didn’t take any more photos. I wanted to, for the consistency of my little map, but I can’t walk around taking photos of the bank, boutiques, etc. Taking a photo of the monument is somehow normal, but there is a limit.

Below is a “map” of my mapping process. I was trying to simplify the map as much as possible.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Julie permalink
    November 13, 2012 3:09 pm

    That anecdote really helps me understand what a small town you live in! It’s hard for me to imagine anyone being such a busybody…

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