Peter Jaeger talking walking

Peter Jaeger is Professor of Poetics at Roehampton University.  For over 30 years he has been making pilgrimages to sacred sites around the world, keeping journals of his discoveries and walks.  Using these as source texts and drawing on literature and walking narratives, he has composed Midamble a long form poem of book length, in which he has held to specific structural constraints for more than 400 pages.  He compares writing long form poetry to walking long distances and during the discussion reveals how he structures the work in a rhythmical durational performance. 23’08” 10.8MB

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Simone Etter talking walking

Swiss artist Simone Etter’s ‘Walk Book’ is full of techniques to disorientate you, not necessarily to get you lost, but to muddle your thoughts, even on a familiar route.  Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, and Simone set out on a walk together towards a campsite beyond La Romieu in south west France, where they have been attending Made of Walking. They know where they are aiming for but don’t know the way to get there, and once they are there, they are not sure as to how to return via a different route. Along the way, Andrew is convinced that Simone is applying her techniques, as he becomes increasingly more disorientated as to the route – his only hope is that you as a listener can follow it too. 16’38” 7.8MB

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Simone Etter’s WALKBOOK is currently only available in German at the University of Art and Design Basel.

George Fort talking walking

Walking along London’s Regent’s canal in Hackney with George Fort who has been developing a digital platform called “Placecloud”. Placecloud is all about animating the places through which we walk with place-specific recordings (‘placecasts’) written by writers, artists, scholars and everyday people. George maintains it is not a collection of audio tours, recorded in a studio by a dislocated actor, but instead numerous placecasts dotted across London, recorded by people like you and me in the very places we are observing and describing.  He spells out an intriguing and persuasive argument for why there’s an appetite for Placecloud and why he is convinced that it is going to be popular among us walkers. 19′ 24” 9.1MB

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Alban Low talking walking

Lesley Cartwright – “Love tokens & Bad pennies” 2019

Alban Low is the curator of an unusual art exhibition involving more than a dozen artists and as many writers, called “Love Tokens and Bad Pennies“, which you can explore by walking the streets of London in February 2019.  He tells Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, he is like an absent party host, arranging experiences and artistic interventions in public space for everyone to enjoy, while himself, keeping to the shadows. A publisher of chap books, illustrator and cartographer, he has a lot of projects on the go, for which walking and walks are integral. 15’39” 7.3MB

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Discover some art on the streets of London – seek out work by more than a dozen artists and writers in “Love tokens & Bad pennies” curated by Alban Low – happening all through February 2019.

Carolyn Affleck Youngs talking walking

At the time of the publication of “Walking to Japan”, Andrew Stuck, producer of Talking Walking, was lucky enough to catch up with Canadian Carolyn Affleck Youngs in London; she had co-authored the book with her now deceased husband, Derek Youngs.  Carolyn took a walking holiday on the Camino de Santiago, in northern Spain, where she met and eventually fell in love with Derek Youngs, himself a long time pilgrim, who walked for peace.  Carolyn has quite a story of long walking of her own, but we also discuss the power of pilgrimage and she and Derek walking together, and how simply putting one step in front of the other, can have profound meaning to an individual as to society as  a whole. Behind us is bustling Bermondsey and Bankside. We had to stop several times as the ambient noise of traffic and construction became too intrusive. 18’25” 8.7MB

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Photo credits: Darrin Steinkey & Brandon Wilson

Riccardo Marini talking walking

Riccardo Marini’s accent belies his Italian upbringing.  When Andrew Stuck met him a dozen years ago, he was Design Lead for the City of Edinburgh and Andrew was a researcher for the Academy of Urbanism. Since then, working first as a director for Jan Gehl Architects and now as founder of Marini Urbanismo, he has worked with cities to make their commercial cores more people-friendly.  They are in London’s West End, in the midst of the mid-morning hubbub on a chilly December day, so Ricardo’s cogent, forceful and passionate argument for putting pedestrians first is even more pertinent.  24’16” 11.4MB

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Stefaan van Biesen talking walking

Andrew Stuck (in cap) and Stefaan van Biesen walk a muddy track in La Romieu.

Walking in silence and stepping lightly on the ground are two rules with which Belgian artist, Stefaan van Biesen frequently asks his companions and participants to comply.  Today’s walk is an exception as Talking Walking‘s producer, Andrew Stuck and Stefaan step away from the activities of Made of Walking in La Romieu in south west France, for which Stefaan is one of the organisers.   Eschewing the car since 1994, and travelling lightly and slowly through Europe, Stefaan styles himself as a ‘flaneur’, observing human movement and interaction.  Walking is what he does, whether it is running daily errands, making artwork, or allowing his mind to relax. 22’44” 10.7MB

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Photo credits: Annemie Mestdagh

Rick Pearson talking walking

Often uncelebrated and rarely visited, the summits of each of the London boroughs can be somewhat of a let down, by the time you reach them.  However, in the company of Rick Pearson, even the climb to the highest point in London, becomes an enjoyable adventure.  Andrew Stuck accompanies him to  Westerham Heights, Bromley’s highest peak. Andrew admits he was somewhat underwhelmed when they conquered it, yet the passion and sheer exuberance of Rick as he recounts his previous conquests, and those to come, will carry you to the top.  Rick, in turn, has accompanied many others on these adventures, and you can listen to their stories on his londons-peaks.com podcast. 23’32” 11.0MB

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Listen to Rick’s recording of our adventure to Westerham Heights.

Sonya Brennan talking walking

Andrew Stuck is intrigued by Nordic Walking, not least as it is rapidly growing in popularity. Some of the questions that come to mind include: what attracts people to go for a walk using poles, what advantage do the poles bring, what health benefits does it accrue, and doesn’t one feel a tad self-conscious?  Andrew joined a Nordic Walking training session in nearby Lewisham with other novices under the tuition of Sonya Brennan.  Andrew asked Sonya to tell her story of how she came to taking up Nordic Walking, and in the interview that you are about to hear, she answers my questions as well as candidly revealing her motivations. 19’54’’ 9.3MB

Recorded in April 2018 on a walk in Manor House Gardens, Manor Park and the surrounding streets in Lewisham.

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ARTIFACTS talking walking

Leena Raudvee and Pam Patterson in conversation with Andrew Stuck

Andrew Stuck is sitting with Pam Patterson and Leena Raudvee in a woodland glade, on a rough track that curves towards a rural road, a couple of miles beyond La Romieu in south west France.  They have just performed a collaborative piece entitled “Listening: On the Architecture of Aging” as their contribution to the Made of Walking gathering of artists in August & September 2017.  The two of them have been working independently as solo artists and their collaboration as ARTIFACTS for more than 30 years.  Both have mobility issues, and Leena is also visually-impaired; they have differing experiences in using a cane to aid walking.  The discussion explores aspects of collaboration, creativity and reflection, as we explore how their collaborative practice has evolved.  The recording begins with Leena speaking. 24’14” 11.4MB

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Tom Hall talking walking

It is hard to find anyone more enthusiastic in revealing the hidden histories of London while walking around its backstreets than Tom Hall. Once you learn he is Editorial Director, and as he says, London office general manager, of Lonely Planet Guides, you realise that maybe everyone there is similarly inclined.  Office moves to new locations are often disruptive, but Tom took it as an opportunity to share his enthusiasm for local history and organised lunch time staff walks through the local streets.  Andrew Stuck joins Tom one lunchtime, not on any particular route, as we wander around trying to find less noisy streets on which to record this interview.  Whether in Istanbul or in Rome, his two favourite destinations for urban walking, Tom likes taking a stroll to explore and uncover the less obvious lived histories of city streets. 23’44” 11.1MB

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Wendy Landman talking walking

Andrew Stuck was attending the Made of Walking gathering of artists at La Romieu in remote south west France, when Andrew was surprised to meet American walking activist Wendy Landman, an executive director of WalkBoston, one of America’s longest running pedestrian advocacy groups. She is here, on an invitation from her college friend and artist Carol Mencke.

WalkBoston walk audit in action in the snow

Wendy discovers that the walking artists at Made of Walking are grappling with many of the issues that Walk Boston has encountered too.  In the blazing sun, they walk along gravel paths, seeking shade, and discuss how walking and pleasurable walkable places are now seen as key elements of quality of life for increasing numbers of Americans.  And how through subtle change in vocabulary, from talking about art to talking about delight  – the delight of walking and of delightful places – hearts and minds of politicians can be won over to the cause of better conditions for those of us who travel on foot.  25’21” 11.9MB

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