Mapping My Neighborhood in Chinatown

One of the things student producers do as part of their participation in the Departures education track is research their neighborhood and explore the meaningful places around them. This exploration begins with students brainstorming personal experiences that each student may have had at a given location. Tara McPherson this subjective aspect of local geography in her essay "Mapping Selves," which was published in the Rites of Passage installment of KCET's Webstories, where students from Central Los Angeles drew similar personal maps of their community. She writes, "We all carry maps in our heads, powerfully processed networks of the places we inhabit and the spaces that matter. In these mental maps, memories overwrite physical reality, merging the world around us with powerful emotions."

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In Chinatown, we asked student producers must look within to identify meaningful memories and link them to a map. Below is the collaborative map they have started to create.

View Departures Chinatown Education in a larger map

It is interesting to see a personalized look at Chinatown that frames it as a hometown neighborhood rather than a tourist destination. These student producers have also written more extensively about these places in their Chinatown and Me essays. Here are a couple of them.

Next time, we will look at some of practice video interviews that students filmed as part of their multimedia production workshops.

Chinatown and Jason - "Hola. Ni hao ma? O_O Well hello whoever is reading this, this is Jason Hong. I've live in Chinatown all my life - for the last 15 years that is, since November 5 1994, year of the Northrdige Earthquake yo!" - read more

Chinatown and Mabel - "Growing up in Chinatown is like no other community; practically everyone is a neighbor and by that I mean everyone, meaning most people are friendly and open. Living as a Chinatown resident in the same apartment complex for the 15 years of my life and counting, I can pretty much say Chinatown is part of me." - read more


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