Anna Dighero is a contemporary dancer, whose passion for walking is inspired by family walking holidays in the Italian Alps. Not to be frustrated by the restrictions of the pandemic, she sought means by which she could keep in touch with physically-distanced friends, creating audio stories that they could walk in their local neighbourhoods. Weaving her dance experience, passion for walking and newly found interest in geo-locating sound recordings. Andrew Stuck meets Anna in Battersea Park on a warm sunny evening, as lockdown eases in London, and the interview opens with Anna telling us about her dance training. 19’15″ 9.0MB
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Hugh Lupton is a storyteller, living in East Anglia, who has been walking the lanes and ways of Norfolk learning stories through walking, and sharing them across the globe. We meet on a cold and windy day in April on one of his favourite walks, beside the River Bure, and talk about how people can value place in a different way if they have a sense of the narratives that are associated with it.
It is not the first time that Andrew Stuck and Hugh have met. Both of them took part in the Sideways nomadic art festival, that included a walk across Belgian Flanders in 2012. 20’27″ 9.6MB
In 2010 Jonathon Stalls walked from Delaware to California, crossing the United States on foot in 242 days. Quite an endeavour but it pales besides what he has achieved in the last ten years. He is the founder and creator of Walk2Connect walking beside thousands of people. It began in his home state of Colorado, and has expanded to several states, and even to the UK. It encourages people to walk (or roll) together, at an unhurried pace, to connect more closely with one another and their surroundings, in turn, building their appreciation of the environment and opening their eyes to the obstacles faced by pedestrians. In this extended interview – our first undertaken on Zoom, a month before the COVID pandemic struck, we explore Intrinsic Paths and Pedestrian Dignity, Jonathon’s new creative endeavours, and look into the future at what he anticipates he will be working on in the next 20 years. 32’28″ 15.2MB
As a walking artist, Jonathon sustains much of his creative work by way of patrons. You can learn more about becoming an Intrinsic Paths patron here.
STOP PRESS – buy Jonathon’s new book WALK: SLOW DOWN, WAKE UP, AND CONNECT AT 1-3 MILES PER HOUR – more details here
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Nick Tyler is Chadwick Chair of Civil Engineering at University College London and is the director of PAMELA one of the largest research laboratories in the country. However, as we learn from this softly-spoken professor it is not large enough, so he is now overseeing the building of a laboratory called PEARL in Dagenham (see image below). What has all this got to do with walking you ask? As Andrew Stuck learned in this conversation recorded before the pandemic, Nick is as interested in the fine grain detail of pedestrian behaviour as he is in engineering spaces that work for people. We also get an inkling of how the 2 metre social distance might have been decided upon, once the COVID virus had struck. 29’44″ 13.9MB
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Featured image: Nick Tyler taking part in a walkshop commissioned by the Parasol Unit, London – taken by Simon Waters
“Peddars Way, A Walk with Chalk” is an illustrated book by landscape artist and long time Norfolk resident, Tor Falcon. Tor became intrigued by the Peddars Way described by some as Britain’s loneliest national walking trail. It follows a Roman Road for almost 50 miles from Thetford in the Breckland to Holme-next-the Sea. So taken with walking and drawing, Tor has gone on to follow and draw every river in Norfolk, and describes how during lockdown she’s also been chasing the moon. Between pandemic lockdowns Andrew Stuck caught up with Tor.19’11” 9.0MB
Writer and academic Kerri Andrews has recently written “Wanderers: A History of Women Walking” that challenges the male-dominated history of walking. Drawing on her own experience of hill walking and through research, she has written a compelling book that includes intriguing stories about women walkers since the early 18th century. She focused on women writers who reflected on what walking meant to them, many of whom have been overlooked or ignored.
Unlike the majority of Talking Walking interviews that are undertaken out and about on foot, the COVID pandemic has meant that this interview had to be recorded over the Internet. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Kerri about her own passion for walking and how it began. 24’33” 11.5MB
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Photo: Beinn a’Bheithir near Ballachulish Credit: Ewan Tait
Paul Kelly is a researcher and lecturer in physical activity at Edinburgh University. Working with Paths for All, the Scottish charity promoting walking and cycling, he has been investigating the measures that facilitate or obstruct people walking more. Recently he has been reviewing, from a public health standpoint, the introduction of a blanket 20mph restriction on motorists across Edinburgh, comparing it with other cities. We are on a brisk walk early in February in Princes Gardens in Edinburgh, seeking quiet spaces away from the nearby railway, commuter traffic and a contractor mowing the lawns. 23’41” 11.1MB
Peter Fiennes, former publisher of Time Out Travel Guides, has turned his hand to writing books. Reviewers and book readers have loved his engaging and humorous prose, so it was a pleasure for Andrew Stuck to record an interview with him to talk about the travel writers that he most admires, a dozen of whom he has ‘accompanied’ in his latest bestselling book: “Footnotes: A Journey Round Britain in the Company of Great Writers”, the paperback of which will publish in August 2020 .Recorded on Clapham Common, in south London on a windy February day in 2020, pre-pandemic lockdown, when frequent jet planes and a helicopter interrupted the recording. 19’57” 9.3MB
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Children’s book illustrator and comic book artist, Lizzy Stewart, when drawing herself, draws herself walking – striding confidently across the urban scene. Her latest book, called “Walking Distance” is a personal account of the way she sees her life out and about on foot – she argues that walking is the ‘clearest way to participate in life’. Her work touches on themes of how women are observed in the city, both in reality and on film, as well as revealing insights into her creative process and her own ways of working. Recorded in and around the gardens surrounding the Horniman Museum in south east London on a February day in 2020. 22’08” 10.4MB
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Walking for 5 months and covering 2,000 miles across Europe from London to Jerusalem, the Just Walk marked the centenary of the Balfour Declaration in which the British Government announced their support for a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine. In this episode Andrew Stuck catches up with Justin Butcher, who conceived and led it, who describes the Just Walk as a ‘pilgrimage of penance’ and a ‘march of solidarity’. Crossing the Alps by the St Bernard Pass to north western Italy was rivaled in its beauty by the Albanian countryside. Accompanied by groups of walkers of different faiths and nationalities, a core group walked the whole distance, meeting refugees making journeys in the opposite direction, and being welcomed as celebrities by Palestinians. It is an extraordinary undertaking, chronicled by Justin in his best selling book entitled “Walking to Jerusalem”. The interview took place on a cold winter morning on the Parkland Trail, from Finsbury Park to Highgate Woods in London. 22’38” 10.6MB Feature image credit: Eleanor Butcher
Ella Parry-Davies, a post-doctoral researcher at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, has been facilitating homemakersounds.org, a collection of soundwalks made with Filipina domestic and care workers employed “behind closed doors” in the Lebanon and the UK. In this interview, the ambiguity, complexity and unfairness of government immigration policy is discussed, as well as how recording and co-editing soundwalks develops an intimacy rarely found in ethnographic research. 21’12” 9.9MB
Recorded in February 2020 on a walk around residential streets in Swiss Cottage, London. Published to coincide with International Women’s Day 8 March 2020
Jack Cornish is a programme manager for the “Don’t Lose Your Way” campaign at Ramblers, the UK charity promoting walking and defending rights of way. That’s the ‘day job’, but there is much more walking in Jack than just from 9 to 5. He has walked the entire length of the British Isles and is walking every street in London. The interview opens with Andrew Stuck asking Jack what “Don’t Lose Your Way” is all about and what his role entails. 22’06″ 10.4MBY
Since the recording was made, Jack has taken on a new role at Ramblers as Head of Paths.
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