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 many circles overlap. They’re a queer, multi-racial/lingual artist, activist & academic passionate about using common or discarded objects, stories, zines, and performance in public spaces to make accessible art. Their research examines how we practice “hope” and meaning through space, architecture and the environment. They’re currently a PhD Candidate in the Department of Performance Studies at UC Berkeley. After graduating from Swarthmore College in 2012, where they were involved in queer Asian activism and making art, they received the Watson Fellowship to travel the world in search of queer artists and activists and made 8 zines highlighting what they learned under their publishing house Queer Scribe Productions. From 2014-2015 she lived in Ecuador and traveled by bicycle from Ecuador to Colombia cataloging traditional textiles, music and food. After returning, they built and lived in a mobile tiny house for a year (until selling it in May 2016).


  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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