Still Walking 4: March 2014

Quick look at Still Walking 4, a week long programme of new walks around Birmingham, one walk a day:

  • 14 March: Budds in Brum – a tour of artworks made by Budds Mosaics, led by Oliver Budd
  • 15 March: Walking the middle way – walk one stage of a circular journey around the A4540, Birmingham’s Middle Ring Road, with Glen Stoker
  • 16 March: Mystery boulder walk – Roland Kedge has located mystery boulders, granite glacial deposits that made their way to Birmingham from Wales during the last Ice Age
  • 17 March: On the beaten path – a recognised method of identifying walking routes is to observe ‘desire lines’ created when pedestrians or cyclists follow the shortest or most desirable route between two points; led by Alan Bain
  • 18 March: This is freedom – interdisciplinary theatre piece by Amerah Saleh, aimed at  breaking down our understanding of human rights, the way we perceive them and our responsibility to act on them
  • 19 March: Free seeing | What even is free seeing? – audience led art that allows participants to find beauty, mood and pattern in the most unexpected and often ordinary of places – found places; by Francis Lowe
  • 20 March: Cornered! – the social life of corners, with Roxie Collins; who designs a city’s corners? how do they come to be? does no one ever question their purpose, or consider how they might be occupied by people and objects over time?

Despite having lived in Coventry for several years I never walked the ring road and the Midlands didn’t attract (inevitably there’s an ebook and book coming out, with accompanying blog and Twitter), but it’s striking how much walking activity there is in the area. Straight after Still Walking the Flatpack Film Festival (20-30 March) hosted a number of walks & talks, including Still Walker Ben Waddington on Birmingham-on-sea, Birmingham on tap on the local water supply and  a SOUNDwalk on the Grand Union Canal.

Also featured was Tim Knowles’ Talk the walk, on his exploratory walks utilising systems, rules and mechanisms to remove control from the walker – see his website for the results. Tim’s latest exhibition, Paths of variable resistance, was shown alongside The Walking Encylopedia in Stoke…

See Are you a Still Walker? for the September 2013 festival, aka SW3. SW5 is due in July. What is particularly interesting is the mix of walks, and how the SW umbrella supports practitioners across the cultural spectrum. Something similar was on show at the other second city’s Histories Festival.

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