Named after a Chinese foundation myth of five goats descending from the heavens with rice stalks to save the people from starvation, Goat Town is an investigation into the vast and consuming alterations being made to Guangzhou’s landscape. Using the backdrop of my family’s transition from a tiny, decrepit apartment into a sleek, uncluttered high rise, the work grapples with the city’s changing identity.
The longtime home I resented, but still loved, became obsolete as my cousin bought a condo inside one of the new high-rises. With the gentrification, no longer could my cousin and I race down the alleyways to drink soy milk in glass bottles from a corner store; no longer could I find refuge from the busy streets in the neighborhood playgrounds. Instead, fences line the towering new blocks to keep residents in and the population out. The move from my cousin’s childhood home to a new place has brought my mother’s extended family into middle class luxury at the cost of not just their collection of archaic artifacts, but a rich history at the threshold of erasure.
What is a home if it means losing a part of your own history?