An Unsettling Sound Walk

Sep 2, 2015


The history of California's indigenous culture is all around us, but that history is often hidden beneath layers of modern development. Take Emeryville's Bay Street Mall, which is just off the 580 freeway. For centuries this land was an Ohlone burial ground, also known as a Shellmound.

An extended conversation in which KALW's Ben Trefny interviews filmmaker Andres Cediel about what lies beneath Bay Street in Emeryville: a shopping mall, atop a toxic industrial center, atop a Native American burial ground.

Audio available after 5pm PST on February 16, 2012.


Photo courtesy of

Just off Shellmound Street in Emeryville, an outdoor mall sits on prime real estate. It’s north of a maze of highways leading to the Bay Bridge. A quarter of a million drivers pass within honking distance every single day. While the Bay Street "Urban Village" was only established in the 21st century, the land it sits on has a very rich past. Rich enough to warrant a documentary film that uncovers several layers of unusual history.