The last remaining manufacturer guilts at Hanoi´s Old Quarter

This project was realized to capture the last remaining traditional manufacturers in Hanoi´s Old Quarter, before they disapear beeing embettled by cheap chinese mass-product shops.

ParticipatoryStory went out, to give the manufactureres a voice enabeling them to share what they do every day, what they think is important to them or just to remind the public, that traditional manufacturers belong to Vietnam and should not be forgotten in the planning of a modern city. Examples of this work have been used to allow decision makers and other stakeholders in City planning issues to hear the manufacturers voices.

36 streets - the last remaining manufacturer guilds in Hanoi's Old QuarterThere’s an old Vietnamese saying, “Hanoi has thirty-six streets and guilds”. Inside a modern and dynamic city, there appears an antique quarter, the Hanoi’s Old Quarter – the represented eternal soul of the city where street names were given after their crafts work taking place in there.

In fact, Hanoi has of cause many more streets, but due to their long-lasti36 streets - the last remaining manufacturer guilds in Hanoi's Old Quarterng age, they are called “Old Quarter” or “36 Old Streets” remaining the most busy ones in town. Some researchers believe that the number 36 came from the 15th century when there might have been 36 guild locations, which were workshop areas, not streets. When streets were later developed, the guild names were applied to the streets. The population density in here is one of the highest in the world.

36 streets - the last remaining manufacturer guilds in Hanoi's Old QuarterThat’s why the Vietnamese government already set a plan to relocate 26.000 residents to other city quarters to reduce the population density from 823 people per hectare in 2010 to 500 people per hectare in 2020 (DTInews 8.6.2012). Also plans exist to make some parts of the old quarter a pedestrian area to minimize air pollution and to attract tourists.

82826-img_3272Located between the Lake of the Restored Sword, the Long Bien Bridge, a former city rampart, and a citadel wall, the Old Quarter came into being at the time King Ly Thai To in 1010. Up to now, it has been the oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam. In the past, as artisans moved to the capital city to do business, they gathered together in this area to share the resources. As a result, many of the streets were named after the crafts sold at that individual street. Pho Hang Bun (Vermicelli), Pho Hang Ma (Paper Product), Pho Hang Bac (Silver) or Pho Hang Dong (Metal products) and many others.36 streets - the last remaining manufacturer guilds in Hanoi's Old Quarter Although many of the streets no longer produce the items they were named for, some still remain like in the old times, where different handcraft manufactures produce and sell their goods next to each other. Nowadays, surrounded by shops, selling cheap Chinese products.

The last blacksmith

In this clip the participatory cross-over technique has been used for storytelling. Mr. Nguyen Phuong Hung – the last Blacksmith in Hanoi’s Old Quarter at  Pho Lo Ren (Blacksmith Street) and Mr. Tuan – Mechanical engineer in Hang Duong (Brass Street) are telling their stories.

Traditional herbs for medicinal use

In this clip, Ms.Trang explains about her village Ninh Hiep and the togetherness of the inhabitants producing traditional herbs for medicinal use.