Some of my favorite quotes from Italo Calvino’s “Invisible Cities”

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About Miyuki Baker

Miyuki is a resident of the place where circles overlap. As a queer, nomadic, multi-racial/lingual female mixed-media artist activist and healer, she uses common or discarded objects, personal anecdotes, public spaces and performance to make accessible art that brings non-mainstream identities and ideas into maximum visibility. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, she traveled for 14 months as a Watson Fellow to fifteen countries documenting the intersections of art and activism in queer/trans communities in blog posts and self-published magazines while making performance art. The eight magazines Miyuki created on this trip ( and their strong media following exemplify her illustration/graphic design, storytelling and people skills. Her work has been featured in several magazines such as Hyphen, Broken Pencil and Knik, blogs and radio shows, well-known for their interactive and eye-catching mixed media approach to activism that utilizes both online media and on-site performance and workshops. This fall she will begin the PhD program at UC Berkeley in Performance Studies. You can follow her travels at and email her at


  1. I like the one from pg. 135 about who controls a story. It’s an interesting point of view, and I think that since you are traveling for a year collecting stories, it is worth thinking about who’s listening/reading and exactly what parts of your stories they are tuning in to.

    Another thought: I have the same thoughts regarding the quote from pg. 87 about losing memories when you speak, except for me, it’s about losing memories when I take a photo. After I travel, the only things I can remember are the things I’ve photographed; nearly everything else becomes too vague to recall as clear as what I can easily flip through in a Facebook album.

    • Very very true Andrew. I’m constantly thinking about my audience…and yet it’s so difficult to adjust that with the way I want to share my observations. Do you find that to be the case?

      That’s interesting too about forgetting everything except what you’ve taken a photo of. I’m trying to get away from only using my camera to capture things that I’m captivated by, like having a conversation about it with someone, or writing about it. But there are so many moments and images that get forgotten, no?

      By the way, I think I’m headed to Korea after this 😉 It’ll be great to catch up!

  2. I carry this book with me on every trip I take. I wake up in a new city and flip to a random page, and find a perfect description of wherever I am waiting for me there in the text.

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