Once an expat woman comes to a new city, the labeling in the local community is inevitable. In Shanghai, the urban cosmopolitan, stories may never be heard in the noise of labels. Most common labels that are encountered are an English teacher, an entrepreneur, a student, a traveler, a partygirl, a company wife and others. However, lifestory is beyond labels. Lifestory is bigger than stereotypes. Lifestory is personal. The project Dragonfruits: Audio Stories from Shanghai expat women is a discovery of its residents. It’s the audio stories told by women who have a strong connection to the metropolis.
Several women were interviewed for Dragonfruits. However, despite willing to share their stories with the public, a few wished to remain nameless. In our society, it seems that the only inspiring figures the public is meant to see are men. Overly patriarchal society is on the way to change but women are still scared to share their success. As Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie once said, “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls, you can have ambition, but not too much.” So many girls around the world are shrinking themselves. So many girls around the world are eating up their ambitions. So many girls around the world are uninspired. Dragonfruits wants to acknowledge the brave hearts who had no fear of making a decision to move abroad and start their lives over. Dragonfruits wants to inspire to be brave.
The web-based mobile app provides an opportunity for those who want to talk and those who want to listen. In addition to that, Dragonfruits’ connection to Shanghai is a direct proposal for city’s exploration. The stories are only available in specific locations of Shanghai where the women were interviewed. To be exact, the audio stories locations pop up at a distance closest to the listener. To ensure gradual familiarity with the city and smooth transition, Dragonfruits locations are secret. The listener may only uncover them by traveling around. As a result, exploration is unavoidable. As a result, another story is heard.
Dragonfruits Demo with the user’s location in Jing’an
DRAGONFRUITS SLIDES + audio snippet that was presented