Visiting Arts/Collective Gallery, Edinburgh, 2009
Public spaces are very much there in our everyday life in Delhi. Markets, road-site tea stalls, barber shops or any where people meet for more than few minutes’ works as perfect public space. Each and every shop in markets or in locality has network of relationships within the community. Thus markets have very significant role in our everyday life. Somehow it works as a catalyst to bind the community and extends its network beyond the edges. Commercial transactions are one of the activities of markets or local shops. It is also the location for news, gossips and chitchat. Shops are often occupied by people are who not interested in any transaction but for a casual conversation with the shopkeeper or someone who is regular to that shop. Thus markets play very important role in building collective social consciousness and interpersonal relationships.
Coming to Edinburgh, we saw many market spaces. They are Lawnmarket, Grassmarket, Weverlymarket, Fleshmarket Close, Fishmarket Close so on. But there are no markets. These spaces are just names. We became curious about these markets. We found out these markets were demolished, relocated, redesigned or even closed at various time in history. And those names of streets, lanes and by lanes witness the emptiness and absence of these markets and its past life.
During our stay in Edinburgh we tried to explore the social and cultural life of these markets. We tried to walk through the streets and closes of history to find out how relationships were built, maintained and expanded. Through various stories and information we could see a different Edinburgh.
At the end of the eight week residency storytelling session was organised at Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, where old ladies told stories about markets and peddlers of mid 20th Century Edinburgh. A newspaper was also produced on the history of markets in Edinburgh.
images of the storytelling session