“Growing Up With Shanghai” is a series of soundwalks with young Shanghainese who were born and raised during the rapid modernization of their city in the 1980s and 1990s. These recordings capture not only their most intimate memories of the locations where they grew up, but also the progress and growth Shanghai has undergone in the past 30 years. The current sounds of Shanghai can be heard behind the dialog and also serve as an audio document for future generations of Shanghainese. All dialogue is in Shanghainese or in their local dialect.
In 1978, China began its road to reform. Today we can see its tremendous result- and this is only the beginning. The ‘soundwalkers’ in this project were born between 1978 and 1985 in the Municipality of Shanghai. As Shanghai matured during these reforms, so did they in their own lives. ‘Hidden’ within their memories, they reveal small and indirect references to how these locations looked and felt. The city of Shanghai is alive and changes and grows just like any living thing- becoming stronger, more intelligent, and more beautiful.
Like sound itself, this project can be experienced and interpreted on many levels. On the surface it may just be a field recording of street sounds in another language, it could be everything I mention here, or something totally different. Whatever you get from these recordings, transcripts, and photos is exclusive only to you and your imagination. I hope that it makes Shanghai less intimidating and familiar to you and that if you do come, you try to experience a more intimate side of Shanghai by following one of these on your own.
A book of transcripts and photographs of each walk is available to further enhance your experience and to totally immerse you in each location. With this book, you are able to understand their stories as well as navigate through the routes that were taken on that day. The first edition will be a limited edition print of 200 books. The entire project was recorded, designed, printed, and hand-numbered and packaged in Shanghai, China and is truly a piece of Shanghai in your hands.
This project is not another tour guide. It shows the reality of Shanghai through sounds of the city and its people. Through the memories of its inhabitants and the imaginations of others, the city of Shanghai extends to beyond its boundaries to wherever you are.
I hope that you enjoy your experience of this project and that one day your imagination leads you here.