Two new articles about narrative mapping of street vendors in Hanoi and their strategies in times of pandemic24 January 2022
Four TRYSPACES’ members collaborate to write two excellent papers about street vendors in Hanoi.
1: Street vendors struggles: maintaining a livelihood through the COVID-19 lockdown in Hanoi, Vietnam. By Sarah Turner and Nguyen N. Binh
2: Visualizing frictional encounters: Analyzing and representing street vendor strategies in Vietnam through narrative mapping. By Sarah Turner, Celia Zuberec and Thi-Thanh-HiênPham.
Abstract: This paper examines the strengths and complexities of utilising narrative mapping to better understand and represent street vendors’ everyday experiences as they attempt to access public spaces for their livelihoods. We draw on three case studies from urban Vietnam to compare and contrast both vendor experiences and narrative mapping potential. Focusing on stationary and itinerant vendors in the country’s capital city, Hanoi, and in a rapidly growing upland tourist town, Sapa, we want to better understand the lived experiences and strategies of vendors who are often targeted by state officials for fines or bribes, as well as being demeaned for being ‘non-modern’ and ‘out of place’. We find that narrative mapping allows us to identify spatial and temporal patterns emerging from our data more easily than traditional text-based analyses, helping us to illustrate public space competition, frictions, and negotiations. Such an approach could make related research more accessible to a broad audience and support non-governmental organisations wanting to inform government officials with regards to how public spaces can be more equitably shared and utilised. More broadly, we suggest that narrative mapping can add nuance to analytical interpretations regarding marginalised populations in the Global South.