Anna, Emily, Johnny & Susan, Wakefield, 13 June 2012

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Walking Practices

Just woke up this morning with that urgent feeling: aaargh what are we doing? Then saw your post Susan and  it got me thinking about Walking.
When we were walking in Wakefield we seemed to have the best conversations, and quite a few of them were about projects we had done involving walking, and here is another one Susan, thanks for sharing Glasgow Women's Library's Heritage Walks. Really interesting.
I was just having a cup of coffee in bed (it's the weekend) and puzzling over the conversations we have been having: thinking to myself - which bits really seemed interesting, which bits got me thinking most? Yes participation is an interesting area - but I think I am most interested in exploring Walking as a tool for participatory practice: I like the way conversations work when walking. I have explored Conversation as Practice before, and considered shared activity as distraction technique to get to authentic/meaningful conversation. Walking somehow seems to create the space for that without necessarily needing distraction. Maybe it's because walking is meditative? Don't know, anyway - I am really interested in creating a space where we can explore Walking Practices? Walking crops up a lot in what I do, but I have never really explored why that is. I have a number of books on walking that I never get round to reading: maybe this would be a chance?  
Maybe Emily mentioned something about a walk as a practice sharing activity in a project you did? Could our project invite a number of Practitioners, Participants and Organisations who use Walking as a Participatory Tool together to stay somewhere for a weekend - I am thinking we could go and stay somewhere like: Grizedale or Allenheads or Merzbarn? Anyway, a place where there is good walking territory - this could be a city, but maybe rural is better - as less noise, so conversation may be easier. A series of walks could happen, where practice and experience is shared? and we think about how to record this? Could we use those video stabilisers that are on your head and film you walking along? Or audio and images etc. It would be important to capture the shared conversation. We could try to get to the essence of why walking practices seem to create such good spaces for exchange or other thoughts about walking.  Anyway, maybe I should stop now in case the idea is not interesting for anyone - and I get too far down the track. What do you all think about this as an idea?

I just found this: and maybe the project you were talking about Emily was the Peckham Space Mobile Conference? I have just watched the video documentation - it looks like it was a fantastic project. I suppose I wasn't thinking so much along these lines: I find sometimes with conferences and symposiums there are a lot of talks/activities/workshops which explore the topic, but not much time to talk and reflect on that. Could the 'something' we do take a more reflective, different paced approach. A weekend walking could be more space to talk to people about what they do, and what their experiences have been, and a reflective commentary on the activity of sharing through walking may also create the documentation/space to explore approriateness of documentation that we have discussed previously.

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