Idit Elia Nathan talking walking

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Idit Elia Nathan was brought up in Israel in the 1960s, her memories of playing in the streets of Jerusalem either side of the Six Day War have frequently influenced her thinking and actions, on how she, her children and all of us can and might ‘play the city’.  Recently she has exhibited and presented work in galleries based on documenting her seven walks through Jerusalem and anIditNathanIMG_3868 adaptation of a Monopoly game that she calls Hegemonopoly (in which you can win power to control the movement of others).  Believing that playfully limiting a walk often generates creativity and unexpected encounters, she has worked with fellow artist Helen Stratford as “Play the City now or Never” to develop an app which will disrupt people’s movements through the city to reclaim some of its spaces through play.  Concurrently, she is completing a PhD titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict focusing on the case of Israel Palestine.

Andrew Stuck joins her on a walk around Hampstead in London not far from where Idit’s father lived during the Second World War. The route they follow was determined a by a throw of a dice. 10.5MB 22’20”

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Meet Idit Nathan in person:

Please join us Play the City Now or Never (aka Helen Stratford and Idit Nathan) for lightbulb walks at the National Theatre in London this Saturday 18th February 2017 1pm and 5pm (45 mins), £3 – see details and book here or at https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/lightbulb-walks

Meet in Dorfman Foyer,

  • Walk and talk in and around the National Theatre with artists Idit Nathan and Helen Stratford to play the cultural spaces in and around the building with the help of props, cards and dice.
    Wrap up warm and be ready for a short walk with stops along the way.

Bradley Garrett talking walking

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Bradley Garrett describes himself as a ‘professional trespasser’ who has been exploring many hidden places and spaces ‘where we are not supposed to be’: climbing The Shard while it was under construction, breaking into the Maze prison and  abandoned underground bunkers and tube stations. When he agreed to an interview, Andrew Stuck wondered whether he would be blindfolded, bundled in a car and taken to a remote destination.

Maze prison

Maze prison

It wasn’t quite like that, although they did travel by car to the outer edges of Southampton, and then walked amongst motorways to reach a country route that took them to the River Test, in full flood.

Whether you judge Brad as a hero or a villain, there’s no

Aldwych Disused Tube Station,

Aldwych Disused Tube Station,

 

way of escaping his infectious enthusiasm for going into places that you might think twice about visiting. 23’14” 10.9MB

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Like what you heard and want to read more, then check out Brad Garret’s book                      Explore Everythinghttp://www.versobooks.com/authors/1820-bradley-l-garrett

David Watson talking walking

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David Watson is an Australian photomedia artist and writer intrigued by ‘progress’. In 2012 he completed Wild Ryde, a doctorate fuelled by the ‘findings’ of a slow, six-year walking and swimming pilgrimage across suburban Sydney:  He currently works with a collective of environmentally-concerned contemporary artists opposing new coal mining and CSG fracking in New South Wales.  He has always considered himself a street artist. First in London in the 80s when he lived in a housing cooperative in New Cross, and then in Bethnel Green. On weekends he would comb the London A-Z by bicycle with his trusty Olympus OM-1, seeking out forgotten corners, layered textures and colonial echoes.

Latterly he has been walking the streets through the suburbs of Sydney to capture memories.  DCIM100GOPROIn 2005 he determined to walk west from his home in urban Rozelle following the spine of Victoria Road, a major artery, out of the city. Over two years and 19 walks his path led inexorably to his childhood home in suburban Dundas, where his elderly, now-ailing parents had lived for 60 years, looking out to the Blue Mountains. Although less than ten miles as the crow flies, David’s serendipitous, looping route covered perhaps 100 miles of concrete, bitumen and harbour-shore. When he reached his destination, he chose to swim back, along the Parramatta river to Sydney.

This interview was recorded on a blustery day in October 2014 while on a walk through Greenwich Park, London.

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Lisa Pook talking walking

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Lisa Pook is a fun-loving outdoorsy woman, just an ordinary person (so she says), but she has chosen an adventure that one can’t help thinking is a bit bonkers – not least because it is hard to grasp where she is planning to go, or how she will know when she actually gets there.  Add to theIMG_3564-2 mix, freezing cold temperatures and hurricane force winds, no wonder she is happy to be picked up to fly the return leg home, makes you wonder what makes her want to set out in the first place.

Since we recorded this interview, Lisa’s planned adventure, the Ice Warrior Challenge to the ‘Northern pole of inaccessibility‘ has had to be postponed, so she will now set out early in 2016. 22’34” 10.6MB

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STOP PRESS: Can you help Lisa reach the Pole?  Donate here

Bill Aitchison talking walking

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Have you ever been tempted to take a guided walking tour?  Visiting a new city, it is often a thing to do.  Some walking guides are accredited by their local tourist bureau, but it is rather hit or miss whether what you end up going on is of any quality.  DSC_0309Performing artist Bill Aitchison, while on a residency in Dubrovnik, started studying the myriad of guided walking tours offered to the throngs of tourists attracted to its historic centre.  His interest has turned in to a performance he calls the “Tour of all tours” in which he reviews guided walking tours offered by others.  Unusual? Yes but popular too.  Our interview takes place just an hour before he begins his artistic performance, and is recorded on a walk along the busy streets in Shoreditch. 25′.51″ 12.1MB

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Julia Killingback talking walking

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Have you ever thought that you would like to write a guide book of walks to your local area – imagining seeing your book piled high in bookshops and bumping into people reading from your guide as they walk your local streets?

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Julia Killingback didn’t just leave it to her imagination, she put her heart and soul, and considerable experience as an author, illustrator and product designer  into just such a dream.  Four Explore Walks Guides to Bristol and Clifton are the result.  However, the route she had to follow to reach this end was far from straight or smooth. 24′ 22″ 11.4MB

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Other title in the Explore Walks series – order copies of Explore Walks from here

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Charlotte Spencer Projects talking walking

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Walking Stories is described as an audio walk, but it is much more than just a walk in which one wears headphones, in all it includes performance, observation, thoughtfulness, play and interaction with fellow participants and the surroundings in which you find yourself in.  Andrew Stuck caught up with Charlotte Spencer and two of the multi-disciplinary artists involved in devising and producing this extraordinary piece of immersive performance.  Walking Stories.5We met in Greenwich Park days before they put on Walking Stories, and before Andrew was able to sign up to take part himself.  The ambient noise of aircraft, helicopters, parakeets and children playing is intrusive in parts of the interview, however, it strangely echoes the way in which these artists have interwoven a soundscape of current and prerecorded sounds within Walking Stories itself. Part scripted with directional instructions, the genius of Walking Stories is the way in which it allows participants to follow their own course whilst all listening to the same soundtrack. 29’45” 13.9MB

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Walking Stories will be back in 2015 touring a range of different
parks in London. Keep up to date with news of dates and locations
through the website: www.charlottespencerprojects.org

Photo credits: Pari Naderi

Jennie Savage talking walking

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Going to interview someone who is intent on getting lost is likely to be an adventure, and so it was when Andrew Stuck went to meet Jennie Savage in the New Forest.  Jennie creates ambient soundscape audio walks punctuated with instructions on various routes to follow.

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Photo credit: T. Hall 2014

On the 3rd of October 2014, Jennie invited people from all over the world to ” Fracture Mob“, to listen to such an audio walk and “Get lost”. 23’38” 11.1MB

The experience of taking this walk was unexpected. Meditative and surprising. There were moments when the sound track and what I was seeing seemed to make sense. It was at once disorientating and re-orientating.

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Nick Hunt talking walking

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Have you been inspired by a piece of travel writing to try a similar endeavour of your own, but found circumstance or lack of courage has knocked you off your stride?  Not so Nick Hunt, who as a teenager, read Patrick Leigh Fermor’s account of a walk across Europe.  bavaria_2Nick has followed in Fermor’s footsteps, walking from the Hook of Holland to Istanbul, recounting his seven month journey in a book entitled ‘Walking the Woods and the Water’.  What pace do you set yourself? How do you keep yourself going? Who do you have as your companions? What do you learn about yourself and about walking? As I try to keep up with Nick on a walk along the popular canal towpath from Broadway Market to Islington, I ask him these questions and more. 29’27″14.5MB

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walking the woods and the water_2Buy: Nick Hunt’s Walking the woods and the water published in trade paperback by Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Photo credits: Nick Hunt

 

Jess Allen talking walking

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Originally a biologist, Jess Allen gained a PhD from Aberystwyth before joining Herefordshire Council as officer on the ‘Lifescapes project’ – a landscape-scale habitat mapping and community conservation scheme. She then went on to train in contemporary dance, latterly with an MA in Dance Making and Performance from Coventry. She has since worked as a landscape officer (Worcestershire County Council), dance lecturer (Bristol), community arts facilitator (Multi-Story Water) and as an aerial performer for Blue Eyed Soul Dance CompanyFull Tilt and everyBODY Dance. She is currently doing a second PhD with a President’s Doctoral Scholarship from the University of Manchester, developing what she calls ‘tracktivism’: walking and moving in rural landscapes as an activist arts practice. She uses walking to facilitate talking and listening; creating unexpected encounters in unusual places. Her curiosity lies in how the aesthetics of a walk and intention of the walker can open a space of embodied dialogue around politics and sustainability.

10303965_10152106056427043_4756582764436750547_nIn 2012, from her then home in South Herefordshire in the heart of the rural agricultural economy, she developed a month-long walking performance “All in a Day’s Walk”, first performed in the winter of 2012 and repeated in summer 2013.

We arranged to meet on Offa’s Dyke. I walking north from Chepstow, she coming south from Herefordshire on her way to the Green Gathering, however, our rendez vous wasn’t so successful, as we found ourselves on parallel paths, and to retrace our steps. 27’38” 13MB

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In 2013 Jess Allen contributed to Talking Walking’s 5th anniversary 5 year walking forecastlisten here

Photo credits:  Paul Richardson and Bronwyn Preece

 

 

Sara Wookey talking walking

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Sara Wookey is a creative dancer and choreographer, who when based in Los Angeles works as a movement consultant to Metro Transit the underground public transport system, winning over discretionary metro riders to experience the city on public transport beside discovering life on foot.  Walking in LA was the means by which Sara discovered the city when she moved there in 2006.  Being a pedestrian in LA is not something that many aspire to, walking in the city, or riding public transit is for those who can’t afford a car. Sara’s work as a movement consultant has also taken her indoors to museums and galleries, where she works with museum visitors to explore collections in a more playful way, and out and about in neighbourhoods working alongside urban planners.  24’09” 11.3MB

In summer 2014, Sara was  performing at the Raven Row Gallery, in London, in a historic dance piece devised by Yvonne Rainer in 1966, likened to being a pedestrian as the performance links day to day movements.

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Photo credit: David Kelley

Matt Tomasulo talking walking

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How long does it take to walk from here to there? is a fairly straightforward question that crops up often enough.  Providing duration times of journeys on foot, was the common sense answer that came to urban planning student and would-be pedestrian activist, Matt Tomasulo, from Raleigh, North Carolina in the southern United States.  His answer to this common question was to devise a set of signs that not only gave direction but duration for journeys on foot, and set about putting them up around Raleigh.  What if these guerilla signs could be made available to anyone, anywhere?  What if anyone could make some of their own?

WYC_MG_8392Using Kickstarter, the crowd funding website to raise funds and spread the word, Matt created the web-based Walk [Your City] app. We in the UK maybe more reticent about putting up signs around our towns, but it appears less so in north America, with not only citizens but towns and city leaders making signs of their own, to Walk their City.  The interview, recorded over the Internet, opens with Matt explaining what is Walk [Your City]. 25’46” 12.1MB

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Photo credits: Walk your City