Mapping a story

What story could I tell by using an interactive map?


There are a few things I could find that would be interesting to present in this format, a narrative about fandoms and enthusiast in Mexico city, so let me tell you a brief story about where alternative cultures and groups find each other.

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The tianguis and the importance for Mexican Culture.


In the pre hispanic era, the natives of what is known now as Mexico gathered their goods and sold them in special places called Tianguis. These tianguis where not only  a place for trade and commerce, it was also a center of cultural exchange between cultures and groups.


The earlier center of trade.


The ruins of Teotihuacan (Literally means “the birthplace of gods”) where once a great center of trade for many cultures of the Mesoamerican region of Mexico and beyond. The site itself is an amalgamation of many architectural techniques, that by the time the Mexica arrived to the region was already a sacred ruin.


Spanish conquest.


The “Plaza de las tres culturas” is an important zone of Mexico city, today it is a place where modernity, colonialism and Mexica ruins live together, it is the site of a very sad chapter in Mexican history and right before the spanish conquest one of the largest and most important sites of trade of the region.


Tianguis de San Felipe


In the modern era, Tianguis have, for the most part, remained hub of trade for small producers, selling fresh fruits, vegetables, and all sorts of foods and goods. It is not unheard for these Tianguis to reach massive sizes, now following a traveling model. Tianguis in Mexico city are itinerant, taking certain days of the week, and putting up their stalls to offer goods at a weekly basis, and with San Felipe being one that offers over 7 kilometers of stalls, the variety of goods offered is staggering.


El Chopo.


However tianguis have begun to morph into something else, the idea of offering goods has broken towards  speciality and niche. The “Mercado del chopo” is a contra culture place where fans of grunge, metal, punk and other counter culture music and movements can find goods aimed at them. Dark clothes, studded leather, vinyl records and handcrafts are offered by skilled artisans, a throwback to the times of the prehispanic tianguis and serving as a hub for finding other followers of every movement.


Friki Plaza.


In a similar vein the Tianguis also finds a use for fans of pop culture. Fans of video games, trading card games, anime, manga and comics find a safe space where they can buy memorabilia, find other players and enthusiasts to create fan art and maybe even show off cosplay (dressing up as characters). Tianguis have become again a place for cultural exchange in a wide variety and more can be find in a metropolis like Mexico city.

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