NAOMI BUENO DE MESQUITA
Within the context of the theatricalisation of everyday life, public space can be observed and studied as scenography. The multiplication of staged and imagined realities can be most intensely felt in urban public space where tourism, entertainment, consumption, art, work, leisure, history, policies and politics interact. It is precisely here where we can observe how people live between realities and how they cope with its complexity. In Prague 1, I explore how local inhabitants create their own parallel worlds within the reality of mass tourism. How do the (temporary) worlds come about, where do they materialize and what stories can be told about these places and practices? I use the methodology of mapping to unravel this subject. During the course of a week, I explore different ways of performative mapping: audio story mapping, navigational operations and drawings.
With regard to audio story mapping; every day I ask different local inhabitants to take me to a certain place and tell me how it facilitates the act of sheltering and to explain the unwritten rules or codes that accompany it. This conversation is recorded. The readers of the map (listeners in this case) have to go to the exact same location to uncover the story of that particular place. This is a very personified, one to one way of mapping. It also looks at the different social groups involved (apart from the listener).
Today’s story takes place behind Prague Metronome on a square that has no official name, but that is called ‘Stalin’ by the skaters (because of the Stalin monument that once stood here). With the noise of skaters in the background, Pavel describes the masquerading and escape from reality that occurs here, now and in the past. The story can be listened to (on location) by downloading the audio track from this website.