Still Walking celebrates all that walking is and might be. Are you a Still Walker?
Still Walking is an annual walking festival in Birmingham, aka the city of walking, run by artist / historian / typophile / tour guide Ben Waddington. This year it took place from 13-22 September, but a closer look shows there’s rather more to it:
The standard guided tour is usually a round up of the top 5 buildings, biographies of the civic dignitaries of yesteryear, then a visit the commercialised canal areas in time for lunch. There’s also the ghost tour…the Still Walking outlook is that there are plenty of other subjects suitable for guided tours, and they mentor people to create them.
The 2013 festival consisted of ten guided walks over ten days, plus various investigations, blogging, promoting other people’s walking events and generally wandering. A mixed programme with arty, town planning, heritage and performance oriented works, aimed at bringing different audiences together. See About us for lots more inspiration! Plus @stillwalkers and #stillwalkers, and the Flickr group.
- Words on Buildings – the Jewellery Quarter; architecture focus; more
- Lost and Found – public art near the Ikon Gallery; art/architecture; more
- Pedestrian vs Car – a look at key car park and pedestrian subway landmarks; urban/ everyday/space; more, has a touch of urbex about it
- Walk Look Draw Know – arty; see Drawingham, more
- Quiet Edges – arty, see a silent walk
- SOUNDwalk – arty; more
- How Places Feel – history and memory
- Movementscapes – arty; more, see also Vanessa Grasse ‘Movementscapes’, Juncture Dance Festival, Leeds
- Drag and Drop – “a social choreography, an urban contemplation”; arty
- Ladypool Road through time – local history; more
On the fringe:
- Walk the Middle Way – part of Brum’s ring road; urban
- a practical psychogeography workshop
- Free Seeing – cf parkour, a drift?
- a Glacial Boulder walk round the various glacial deposits that made their way from Wales to Birmingham during the last ice age
More walks on Still Walking on Eventbrite:
- Wild Walls – exploring the microverse of moss, lichens and algae appearing on many of our buildings and walls
- Crossroads of Sabbath – any guesses : P
- Walk the High Street, Cradley Heath
Ben’s advice: gear up for the festival by going for a short walk to visit the nearest street to your home that you haven’t been to before.
Could something like this work in Copenhagen? Counter that cycling dominance! Like Ben,
I’d love to see
Birminghamhave a huge calendar of walking events that covered the whole range of experiences that walking can be about: people walk for exercise, as a social experience, as a means to explore or learn new information, for mental well-being, for performance or artistic reasons and of course as a means of transport.
The Metropolis Festival covered the arty side, DAC does architecture while the literary and history side is sewn up and presented via various companies and the adult education forening movement, but what about Copenhagen as place, and what could bring it all together? They are certainly usually well up for a festival…first step has to be to get ducks in rows. Walk Colchester and even Thundersley on foot (via Ramblings; review) offer other models.