Poultry parking


Fowl cages repurposed as parking placeholders. Marked in blue as property of “M” – likely a poultry trader out on a bird-related errand. This parking place is across the street from downtown Yangon’s largest wet market, where there are many fowl-cages packed with clucking, feathery future meals.

How does a neighborhood’s primary trade or industry make itself known to uninformed passerby in not so obvious ways? Ride a train across China and your phone will be inundated with text messages welcoming you to each new province. Is there a city-street-level digital equivalent, putting aside a given industry’s analog/physical signs (sounds, smells, etc.). “Welcome to chicken town – bring home some of the other white meat tonight!” – maybe include some poultry recipes in a location-based text? Also, whose space is this to control? Is control over parking ceded to the members of the dominant trade? Do gold-traders get parking rights on gold-trading street, and sign painters on sign painting street? Likely depends upon whether one’s trade requires extensive use of a car (or the business is such that one’s customers are expected to arrive in a car).

From talking, I get the sense ownership/control is temporally based, with the right to use based upon the hours of the adjacent market. Basically, whose road it is depends upon what time it is / whether the market is open and the space needed for commercial purposes. Technically the municipality controls all, but lack of enforcement makes that irrelevant. Next to a building that is being gradually deconstructed by hand, the pictured space is yet unclaimed by the new “informal” owners of the space (namely, whoever decided to purchase and then demolish the adjacent building), so the poultry traders rule the roost for now.

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