145 x 237 x 21mm
A personal tour of the world's cast-offs, revealing forgotten places and lives.
Those wishing to understand a city's history visit museums, but curious souls like Barbara Hodgson who are searching for a city's real past know better places to look. It is in the streets, the bookstores, and the markets where a city tantalizingly and coyly reveals its most intimate self, displaying the contents of its attics and trash bins. Back alleys, out-of-the-way cemeteries, and hidden courtyards also offer up surprising finds and capture the essence of a city.
Trading in Memories follows Barbara Hodgson's travels through markets and other repositories of material culture around the world. It presents a wonderful visual and textual record of the life and character of a place as found in the clutter of crowded stalls and dusty collections, in gothic graveyards, and on crumbling walls.
The stories behind the objects - and those selling them - can reveal much about a place and its past. French expatriates fleeing Shanghai in 1937-38, for example, left behind chandeliers, dishes, and handbags, now for sale at that city's Dongtai market; Eastern European immigrants to Canada in the 1920s and 30s brought with them photographs and documents, now on offer at flea markets and garage sales across the West. Postcards, glass lantern slides, and stereoscope cards from around the world attest to restlessness of people just about everywhere.
From Brussels to Marrakech and Damascus to Portland, Barbara Hodgson has overlooked nothing in her own search for tantalizing artifacts in the broken and discarded detritus of the everyday. Along the way, she has discovered a wealth of stories behind the objects and those who sell and buy them.