The presence of others who see what we see and hear what we hear assures us of the reality of the world and of ourselves.

Friday, 27 June 2008

TRAVELER - the place revisited

I revisited Lake Peipsi district second time in November 2007. My aim was to find out and document how the place is currently perceived by travellers - how much information about local area is available? how do local people receive outsiders?

During the trip I was constantly aware of my behaviour. Instead of just being a gazing tourist as last time, I tried to engage myself with different aspects of being a traveller. Research on identity, cultural tourism and methods of cognitive mapping became handy. To my surprise the village had gone through an enormous change. The memory of the dark, old and grey village of wooden houses and narrow street was replaced with the image of a lively and colourful place. As if it was not the same place any more. Or maybe my expectations were different.

I was observing, sensing and documenting the place by using image and sound recording. I made almost no contact with locals during 4 days. It was not a deliberate decision, but rather a realistic nature of the village. During the field studies I realised that the structure and character of the village is more easily perceived with the speed of 30km per hour (slow car driving) and hard to accomplish by walking. One experiences surroundings on foot with more senses than travelling in a car. At the same time long distances and changing weather cut down the feeling of continuous place. Documentation of the fieldtrip (especially the video) became my irreplaceable source of inspiration for design proposals. The constant review of the material often revealed new insights and understandings that may have been missed at first sight. It allowed me to experience the place time and time again.

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