Performing the Layers of Community on Main Street: A Reflection


Sara Nixon


People’s memories of particular moments linger on through time, captured and buried within the place in which those memories were created. They become layers of the past, each memory inscribed onto its landscape – natural or built, lively or forgotten. As memories and stories of the past layer themselves onto a landscape, its environment begins to encompass a particular meaning that can be felt and experienced by the people who move through its space. I would like to suggest here that these physical encounters with such embodied landscapes are performances that uncover histories and pasts buried over time. As people move within a place embodied by the past, they recover the meanings that layer the landscape through acts of memory-making and recalling, and experiencing and re-experiencing.


About Sara’s entry

A walk down Main Street in small-town Canada.  The layers of the past, buried beneath the facades and tarmac of the present.  A first-person moment in Sara’s own memories.  This is a richly personal visualisation, blending archival, present-day and personal resources into a narrative spanning four generations, ‘coded’ into the landscape.  Part podcast, part poetry, this reaches into the heart of what it means to live within ‘heritage’ and to lay down another layer for the future.

The Visualisation

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