EnviroHum Zine 1 April 2016

EnviroHum Volume 1 Spring, 2016 2
EnviroHum Volume 1 Spring, 2016  2
Contents Foreword 4 Setting Off 5 Short stories from St Cyrus Coastline 8 As Above So Below 10 Interlude: Treads and Threads 14 Women Who Walk At Night 15 Rest Stop 20 The Textual City: Walking In Govanhill 21 Final Steps 27 Minor Paths 28 Larks 32 Notes On Contributors 36 3
Contents Foreword  4  Setting Off  5  Short stories from St Cyrus Coastline  8  As Above So Below  10  Interlude  Treads a...
Foreword Alexandra Campbell & Kirsty Strang We the editors are proud to present the inaugural volume of a new experimental and environmental project: EnviroHum. Capturing and collecting the continuous murmurs of space and place, the EnviroHum project explores existent or potential dialogues between environmental researchers, artists, practitioners and policy-makers. Collaboration and innovation are the key aims of EnviroHum. Through our open-source platform and quarterly zine series, we hope to foster new connections between disciplines and persons by crafting a common ground for the international exchange of ideas and artworks. Embracing all forms of creation from sculpture and spoken word, archaeology and architecture to literature and engineering, EnviroHum teases out strands of communication and weaves a new meshwork of conversation under the banner of the Environmental Humanities. Our first volume, ‘Féðe: the power to go on foot’ features contributions from poets, film-makers, researchers and story-tellers. Showcasing contributions from a variety of angles, this wee book asks some poignant questions about the threads and treads between walking, gender, power, ownership and protest: What does it mean to experience the city by foot? Is walking a mindful practice? How does walking affect our sense of self and security? How can our steps shape the world around us? These questions, and many more are explored in the following pages. So please join us in a discussion that navigates the twists and turns of what it means ‘to go on foot’. 4
Foreword Alexandra Campbell   Kirsty Strang We the editors are proud to present the inaugural volume of a new experimental...
Setting Off Dee Heddon It’s both an honour and a privilege to be invited to write the introduction to the first issue of EnviroHum. This inaugural issue is right up my proverbial street, so to speak – and given the steady interest in walking evident across a range of disciplines (literature, art, performance, design, anthropology, geography), it’s a street or path I share with many others. For some years now I have been practicing and writing about aesthetic walking practices. My interest was piqued when, researching for my monograph, Autobiography and Performance (2008), I struggled to find much mention anywhere of women artists who used ambulatory practices as primary form and content. Women were not entirely absent from writing about walking aesthetics - Jane Austen, Dorothy Wordsworth, Virginia Woolf and Janet Cardiff were sometimes mentioned – but most often they appeared only in a fleeting paragraph or a footnote amidst the well-worn rostra (or mantra) that includes Defoe, Rousseau , Blake, Wordsworth, De Quincey, Baudelaire, Thoreau, Benjamin, Tzara , Breton, Debord, Long, Fulton, and Sinclair. As I have written elsewhere, repeated reference to this fraternity of walkers risks curtailing walking to a singular modality – adventurous, heroic, transgressive, escapist. These tropes tend to repeat also a set of masculinist norms. As Cathy Turner and I argued in our essay written in 2012, ‘Women Walking: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility’, it’s not that women do not undertake walks that might be regarded, from any perspective, as adventurous, heroic, transgressive and escapist; rather, it’s that the preponderance of these terms and their referents serve to exclude other forms of walking and reiterate fixed notions of adventure and transgression. Our intervention into discourses about walking was not about biology (controversially, I’d like to suggest that it was not entirely not not about biology either). Our attempt in this article, and its preceding sister piece, ‘Walking Women: Interviews with Artists on the Move’ (2010), was to resituate the walking body as a placed body – a body placed not only in the environment or landscape through which it walked and which it in turn mobilised, but a body placed culturally, historically and geographically; that is, a body mobilised discursively. Whilst dominant and popular discourse, drawing on Romantic traditions still, have a tendency to propose walking as a means to escape relations, our interviews with ten women artists reminded us starkly, if any reminder was needed, that the walking body is not so easily left behind. Though it might be a moving body, it is a body that is still seen and read. Most writing about cultural and aesthetic walking practices leaves the body unremarked – it is simply ‘a body’. However, the body that is walking does, we argued, make a difference to one’s experiences. We should pay attention to those bodies, where they walk, and how they walk since this might allow us to observe, think and propose new and different things about walking aesthetics: for example, we proposed that making work in one’s own back yard, in the sites of the familiar and the everyday, might well offer a new perspective on risk-taking; or, looked at 5
Setting Off Dee Heddon It   s both an honour and a privilege to be invited to write the introduction to the first issue of...
from a different location and practice, walking might be understood as a pivotal methodology for the development of new relations, rather than the ideal means for escaping old ones. The proposition of walking as a convivial practice led me to set up my own specifically sociable walking exercise. Turning 40, I decided to throw a peripatetic birthday party, sending invitations to a variety of friends, family and acquaintances, inviting them to each take me on a walk of their choice – a favourite walk, a local walk, a short walk, a long walk, a desired walk... Over the course of some four years, I gathered up these walks, perambulating up hills, along canals and beaches, across towns and valleys, through arcades, around museums and parks and even up and down an outdoor swimming pool. Reflecting on this birthday present that kept giving – and giving so generously – I extended my challenge to some of the historical but pervasive ideas about walking, particularly that walking is best done alone. 40 Walks provided the occasion to celebrate walking and friendship and the relations between them. As I put it in my essay, Turning 40: 40 Turns, every walk offered to me was ‘different, individual, unpredictable, an opening out into space and friendship, at the same time as it ground[ed] it’. Walking with allowed for both shared and new perspectives, an opportunity to catch up, as well as to diverge and digress, conjuring new selves through and in movement – ‘walking and becoming’. histories, perspectives and norms in the field of walking aesthetics, I have succeeded in peddling other norms: that walking is always done on two feet, that walking is rhythmical and meditative, that walking is pleasurable and benign (even if sometimes challenging). In spite of best intentions, I’ve reiterated a normative body. The phenomenological analytic underpinning much of the writing about walking tends to fetishize the literal footstep, conjuring unproblematised relations between a singular walking body and a connection and intimacy with the world. But going for a walk does not always bring feet into contact with ground. Are those who experience the world through the wheels on their chairs or mobility scooters less intimately connected, less placed? And what of the recent mass walks that traversed through Europe’s borders, signalling displacement and desperation – a forced walking? As we embrace walking’s potential for liberation and transgression, we would do well to remember that all experiences of walking are always intersectional: relationships between power and walking are multiple, dynamic and interconnected, and sorely in need of interrogation. Who has the power to go on foot? I write this introduction to Féðe without knowing what comes next. The triumvirate: gender, phenomenology and walking, suggests a certain direction of footfall. But the pleasure/danger of walking is that, even with the best of planning and intentions, you can end up somewhere entirely unexpected. Though I’ve spent considerable time challenging what I’ve deemed to be masculinist 6
from a different location and practice, walking might be understood as a pivotal methodology for the development of new re...
Sources Merlin Coverley, The Art of Wandering: The Writer as Walker (Oldcastle Books, 2012). Linda Cracknell, Doubling Back: Ten Paths Trodden in Memory (Freight Books, 2015). Frederic Gros, A Philosophy of Walking (Verso, 2015). Dee Heddon and Catthy Turner. ‘Walking Women: Interviews with artists on the move,’ in: Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts No. 4, Vol. 15, (2010). Dee Heddon and Cathy Turner. ‘Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility,’ in: Contemporary Theatre Review No. 2, Vol. 22, (2012) Dee Heddon ‘Turning 40: 40 Turns: Walking and Friendship’, Performance Research, (2012). Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (Penguin, 2013). Tina Richardson, Walking Inside Out: Contemporary British Psychogeography (Place, Memory, Affect) (Rli, 2015). Phil Smith, On Walking: - And Stalking Sebald (Triarchy Press, 2014). Phil Smith, Walking’s New Movement (Triarchy Press, 2015). 7
Sources Merlin Coverley, The Art of Wandering  The Writer as Walker  Oldcastle Books, 2012 . Linda Cracknell, Doubling Bac...
Short Stories From St Cyrus Coastline Keilidh Ewan “As we arrived, it was hard to tell what to expect from the walk ahead other than the reassuring presence of cliff edge framing the route. Bridges over grassland eventually led to sand, and sand eventually led to water.” Saint Cyrus Beach, historically known as ‘Ecclesgreig Beach’, is a three mile stretch of protected Aberdeenshire landscape assembled by ocean, dunes, grassland and rock face. Hidden in the coastline, weathered salmon bothies and disused whitewashed fishermen’s cottages form scattered highlights against the impressive architecture of cliff edge. Photographed in late 2015 as part of an ongoing series, ‘Short Stories’ explores our relationship with the environment in both urban and rural landscape. 8
Short Stories From St Cyrus Coastline Keilidh Ewan    As we arrived, it was hard to tell what to expect from the walk ahea...
‘Souvenir’ 9
   Souvenir    9
Jennifer Brough As Above So Below Within the earth there are pockets of stillness. Where time is told by light alone and an hour is as long as the eye can see. Here is one of them, a vast expanse within which he can set out in no direction. The sun erupts over the valley, its heat prickling his skin. A flock of birds scatter across the sky like seeds. He pauses to watch them turn this way and that. Amid fields of waving corn he wanders, the stalks part and close around his form. A clearing behind the perimeter of branches promises more beauty. Nature beckons through leaves, the sun casting shadows that play along the forest floor. He lies back on the moss, glancing at the azure between gaps in the tall trees. To his left ear, a clear brook gurgles. He follows its path, tracing the curves of the land’s body. Taking off heavy shoes and socks he presses his feet into the silt watching as the water fills in his prints. The air is so still, he can almost hear the grass growing. He is alone, but the earth breathes with him. He attunes his ears to each animal cry and twig snapping. If only he could bottle this peace, to transport this corner of calm. If he were to die here, the animals and insects would come to query his body. Birds could pluck his hair for nests, larger carnivores would rip chunks of his soft flesh clean off. When there was nothing left to take, his bones would sink into the soil nudging unearthed fossils. His mind is as blank as the notebook pages he will fill with sketches and words, a vessel through which unspoiled impressions flow. He allows the landscape to imprint itself upon him whilst leaving no trace of his presence. He takes from it nothing but recollections. Each man wants a piece of quiet, one’s own cabin in the woods. It starts with the few cutting a map like cloth, sneaking a land square into their pocket for signatures and a sack of coins. Before long, the maps are inked with ancestral family names and the soil is pockmarked with flags. Nature recoils under the redrawing. There were no maps before. What hasn’t been sold becomes spectacle. From waterfalls and canyons, to breeding grounds and reservations. There is no written proof of ownership, only heritage and tradition. Busloads of people come to see the sites of splendour, imagining what it would be to live like this. Idyllic notions distilled in the greener grass the other side of a two-hour ride. Television commercial temptation proves too great; the exodus is inevitable. Hills are flattened to make way for rows of ticky-tacky houses with uniform gardens picket fenced in perfection. Parallel highways cut through the corn for a made to order scenic drive to supermarkets and shopping malls. 10
Jennifer Brough  As Above So Below  Within the earth there are pockets of stillness. Where time is told by light alone and...
But what more could be concealed? Beneath the temperate veneer lies untapped treasure. Bulldozers mine the peaks to piles of red dust behind the cosy streets. The earth cries out noxious fumes as drills penetrate, extracting gases through a network of pipes. Where there’s a will there’s a way to make a well. Behind the gas factory children swim in a shrinking lake. When the wanderer returns, the valley is a suburb surrounded by an open pit. * Over a bridge and not so far away, the land is still being auctioned off. Black clouds obscure the dawn as cranes swing wide arms. Dirt is carted away in the jaws of JCBs that raze houses to rubble, raising skyscrapers to rumble at the heavens. It is part of a great remodelling; the earth’s body will be transformed. Nip the green and pave over the cracks, tuck the chemical waste in landfills. You won’t believe it’s the same patch of dirt; it will be unrecognisable! Here the landscape bends to yield spaces in the sky with price tags ending nought nought nought. The city’s spine is ridged with buildings that pierce the sky. Architects blueprint the terrain in a race to build the tallest towers, a shimmering Babylon of technology and symbols, eternal obelisks and artificial gardens. By day, this glass jungle vibrates underfoot. Trains snake to its centre spilling their insides of passengers who march along conveyor belt pathways. Jostling through the surging streets she seldom looks up, only forward. To pause would cause her to become a crushed domino. Car horns, bicycle bells and radio crackles mesh in cacophony creeping under headphones. Darkly clothed crowds form with blank faces that twist in collective rage when delayed. The urgency of A to B froths inside them all. It seeps through the skin. When she blows her nose it’s black. Day pours into night, bringing neon suns that never set. Splashes of bright desire offer theatres, bars, dance clubs. The underbelly spills out from back alleys, finally free from the day’s corset. There’s always a place open, serving anything on or off the menu. Billboards cast long shadows along isolated streets. Her footsteps echo, she is finally able to hear her breathing. Another strides behind, she quickens her pace. Lampposts offer islands of light. Fingers threaded with keys clenched in a fist until the front door. It’s often a false alarm. She closes the night behind her, laughing off paranoia. In other cities, she roams less freely. The moon peers through her window, beckoning her outside. Antiquated iron laws bar the view. Beyond the veranda, trees shade dirt paths. The leaves rustle with eyes or the glint of a knife. How many women and girls never come home? Vanishing on the return from school, a well, or a walk. Bodies hidden under rocks, or strung from trees to rejoin the silent earth that sees all. * Inside tower blocks, cafes and tents a thousand fingers type. Their searches send sparks to satellites, connections crackle into solidarity. Communities link, sharing stories of mines that sprang up while they were sleeping, gas leaks near schools, lakes washing up scores of dead fish. 11
But what more could be concealed  Beneath the temperate veneer lies untapped treasure. Bulldozers mine the peaks to piles ...
Upon its first mention, the word spreads wildfire – reclaim. It starts with a single step. Traction spreads through meeting places thumbtacked on internet maps, word of mouth, posters on public transport. Individuals start looking up as an awakening spreads. People have the power to amass, to occupy, to generate change. It is time to show the censored, the stories from the cutting room floor, the background behind the inflammatory headlines. Through their actions, they release the images of destroyed landscapes from the constraints of columns. They seek to rebuild cities redacted from foreign consciousness. They gather in squares, beneath landmarks, outside government offices to unify the fragmented city with placards and songs. Though the sole weapon is their presence, it is threat enough. Gas canisters roll and hiss. Shielded figures emerge through the fog. Batons crack. Unarmed bodies crumple to the ground. Panic and rage ripple through the dispersed crowd. Waves of milk and water wash out burning eyes. Cuffs click and vans wail. When the streets clear, signs lie trampled amidst dwindling fires. The wind blows without answer. They remain undeterred, spreading images of incarcerations online, redefining the picket line to form the next movement. Injustices have been hush-hushed for too long. All they ask for is an equal earth. Parks spring up around the streets that hold their marches; their many hands create vegetable patches in communal gardens. They dredge the river of its waste. Atop the huts they place panels, a mosaic roof to ensnare the sun, while wind turbines wave from the hillside. They nurture the sickened land. Between the pavement cracks, weeds unfurl into flowers. Birds nest in the rafters of abandoned chemical plants. They can just about see the stars shining fiercely behind the smog. 12
Upon its first mention, the word spreads wildfire     reclaim. It starts with a single step. Traction spreads through meet...
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Interlude: Treads and Threads Rebecca Livesy-Wright I’m so angry with cat-calling, with being made to feel so aware of my physicality in public space, of feeling constricted in my movement. Black threads symbolise oppression. White threads symbolise fear, heightened awareness, anxiety. Dense stitching shows heaviness, a tension. Lines between my body and the spaces that force themselves upon my consciousness. Car windows, doorways, ‘male’ environments. Rosalind Krauss pierces her paintings with embroidery. An action, an irreparable mark, a permanent change. Power in the act of joining thread to the image, to this spatial representation. Defiant, a proclamation of reclamation. But screw that. I will allow myself to walk in the places where men have shouted at me, beeped at me, followed other women. I will reclaim those spaces, spread out, spread my happiness, my sense of ownership, my colour. Red hair, red skirt, red boots, red thread. Women’s threads. Women’s Art. Women’s work. Under-appreciated and thought of as non-fine-art. Miriam Schapiro tells us to appreciate our ‘own’ craft. Let’s not set our measures for success by the dominant norm. Let’s create our own. (Better still, let’s ignore notions of success altogether, notions which speak only of individualism and competition.) 14
Interlude  Treads and Threads Rebecca Livesy-Wright I   m so angry with cat-calling, with being made to feel so aware of m...
I feel relieved. I can stop to roll a cigarette without feeling nervous that someone is approaching from behind. But I also feel like I have given in to a greater, unnecessary force. In these moments I Rebecca Livesy-Wright Women Who Walk at Night I am walking through Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow. It is 11.30pm in January; cold, wet and dark, the light dimly glowing from the weak street lights up the bank of the river on the other side of the railings. I focus on the sound of the water, trickling fast and icy and my footsteps make wet treads upon the ground. I am enjoying the walk, thankful for the chance to experience a common route in a different light. I enjoy being on my own at night, but I am also hyper-aware, looking over my shoulder and imagining, for splitseconds, figures in the dark. At the bridge I have two choices: continue through the park or turn right and step out onto the road. I choose the latter. think of my friend Sofia, a friend from university in London who joined our feminist society and taught me more than anyone about feminism, especially of the radical kind. An avid walker, she walks whenever and wherever she chooses, in part as a personal act of rebellion. Why should she alter her behaviour because of the threat from others? Besides, the threat is often sensationalised and used to shape women’s use of public space by scaring them. The 2014 Transport For London (TFL) ‘safety campaign’ poster does just this. It depicts, in story-board fashion, a young woman who has been out at night with her friends, getting into a minicab alone. The minicab driver who we infer to be male (and we should also note the problematic racial undertones) reaches out to grab her, insinuating sexual assault. While this campaign raises awareness 15
I feel relieved. I can stop to roll a cigarette without feeling nervous that someone is approaching from behind. But I als...
of the risks women face in public space, it does nothing to asses why those risks exist and to deconstruct the ideologies which create and maintain them. The poster focuses the blame for the assault on the young woman. The attacker’s face is never shown, a tool used to increase fear, but which also removes him as a main protagonist from the scenario. The poster feeds into a culture of victimblaming (a way of presenting or discussing crime which holds the victim as responsible in part or in full) and tells us that a woman’s safety is entirely her own responsibility. We are encouraged to think that the young woman shouldn’t have got so drunk, shouldn’t have been so focused on taking selfies, shouldn’t have trusted the bouncer hailing her cab, and shouldn’t have got in the taxi. We are told that the attack was her own fault. “I’m not the only one who feels scared to wonder alone at night”. Anonymous comments were left on a survey I carried out which echo my own fears and monitoring of behaviour. One participant writes, “There is one area of London that I very frequently experience sexual harassment in, and so I try to avoid that area altogether”. Another writes that she “would be less likely to explore than a man.” And these fears are not irrational. While many statistics point out that cases of rape and sexual assault are overwhelmingly committed by someone known to the victim, and, to quote the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), “The perpetrator’s not hiding in the bushes”, a high proportion of women experience genderbased harassment on a daily basis. I am a young woman who has lived in two very different cities, London and Glasgow, and have noticed marked differences in experience of street harassment between the two. In London, I could easily be cat-called, whistled, beeped at, leered at, or told to smile around five times on the 10-12 minute walk from my home to the local underground station. In Glasgow I can’t recall one notable time. Perhaps then, the surveys which claim that 19% of women in London have been physically harassed and 32% had been verbally 16
of the risks women face in public space, it does nothing to asses why those risks exist and to deconstruct the ideologies ...
abused on public transport in 2014, or that more than 40% of young women in 2012 had been sexually harassed in a public space, or 85% of self-identified women had experienced gender-based street harassment, surprises a Glasgow readership. I hope so. Bryony Beynon, co-director of Hollaback! London, an organisation working towards ending street harassment writes that “Walking through a city anonymously and taking it how it feels to be lost in the crowd is a unique joy.” I love walking round the city, particularly the edges – those places considered most dangerous – on my own, in the rain, at night, writing poetry and meditating on my thoughts. But as Bryony continues, “Sadly that cloak of urban invisibility is an impossible dream when your body [that of a woman] is constantly up for loud, public appraisal by total strangers.” When I am cat-called, or told that a place is unsafe because I am a women, when I am in fear of assault and of what is down the dark alley to my left. I am denied the right to walk freely in a public space and I am denied right to think freely and connect with my thoughts and with my landscape. A year and a half ago I went on my first Reclaim the Night march (RTN) in London. The march is a self-identified women-only protest that started in 2004 with an aim to combat sexual violence against women. It is a chance for women to come together and to make noise, to express anger, find solidarity and strength in each other, and to walk the streets after dark and feel safe. Recently, I also joined the Glasgow RTN march. I relished in the chance once again to march, stomp, shout, and to loudly be a feminist. Although men marched with us in Glasgow they joined in with the chants only after women had started them, and never calling back to the “Whose Streets?” chant, the answer “Our Streets?” reserved only for women. The point of the marches is to celebrate being a woman, and to loudly raise awareness of the anger we collectively feel at a consistent denial to our freedom of expression and freedom of movement in public space. Think of the woman who is looked down on for wearing a short skirt in winter, judged for not keeping her decency, or valuing her appearance over her comfort. Think of the woman who is followed through the 17
abused on public transport in 2014, or that more than 40  of young women in 2012 had been sexually harassed in a public sp...
street by a man who finds her attractive and then shouts at her for not considering it a compliment. As Sarah Bell, one of four organisers for the London RTN march, says “we could potentially go and hold a silent vigil somewhere, but the whole point is we’re making a lot of noise, and we’re shutting down streets for women’s issues.” In this, Bell not only highlights the importance of creating a spectacle, but of creating a spectacle with an easily identified message. By virtue of the London RTN being a women-only march, the protest is clearly gendered, both in its physicality and in its message. Participants on women-only marches such as RTN challenge the ideologies that typically exclude them from public space by creating a transient space on the public stage to which only they have access. Even during the mixed-gender Glasgow RTN, women are giving themselves the space to claim the city for themselves. Although I believe in the power of these marches, I am still nervous to walk in Kelvingrove park after dark. The safe spaces created by the RTN marches are valid only when walking in a large group. I want to be able to walk freely on my own. I want to take in my surroundings without shouting my presence. Walkwalkwalk are a collective of women walking artists based in East London which consists of Clare Qualmann, Gail Burton and Serena Korda. The three meet each week, walking their individual paths of routine together but at unusual times of the day, enabling them to see their journeys in a new light and develop a new relationship with their surroundings. They walk as a trio or with invited participants. Whilst the premise of walkwalkwalk depends on collective walking, the groups are never as large as the RTN protest marches, and the result is not overtly political, but quietly subversive. The collaborators walk in areas at times considered dangerous, allowing themselves to experience the sublimity of walking amongst the derelict edges of the city at a time of day usually off limits to them. The walks were poetic and meditative. Beyond the simple act of walking, walkwalkwalk’s process is also poetic in the act of collecting found objects. I frequently pick up found objects when I am out walking: things that make me laugh, things that I think would look nice at home, things that drop a hint of what was before, or of other human activity. In this simple act, I am able to feel connected to the place in a new way, celebrating the often overlooked, and bringing my walks inside my home. walkwalkwalk further develop this sense of belonging within public space by inserting their own traces through the medium of posters displaying stories and anecdotes from their previous walks. In this, they create a dialogue with the public space and those who use it, allowing for the creation of new stories and encounters. They assert themselves physically in the space, both by the very act of walking, and via the physical traces they leave. They affirm a right to public space, and a right to recognition as subjects and protagonists in the stories they are helping to write. I am thankful for the diverse ways women are laying claim to their rights to and in public space. Whether it be Sofia’s quiet personal rebellion, or a group of fierce feminists marching through city centres, or the use of walking as a creative and meditative practice. I’m hoping 18
street by a man who finds her attractive and then shouts at her for not considering it a compliment. As Sarah Bell, one of...
for a time when the risk of assault doesn’t exist, when I won’t get concerned looks from people when I say I was walking late last night, or warnings from a campaign poster instructing me to be more aware of the dangers that creep in the dark. For now though, I continue to look over my shoulder, and turn right out the park when it’s dark. Sources: Jo Beall. ‘Urban Governance: Why Gender Matters,’ (March 1996) http://www.gdrc.org/u-gov/doc-whygendermatters.html. B. Beynon. ‘Video shows street harassment is a global epidemic’, The Bangkok Post, (November 2nd, 2014). Jos Boys. ‘Women and Public Space,’ in: Matrix ed. Making Space, Women and the Man-Made Environment (London: The Works, 1984). Merlin Coverly. Psychogeography (Herts: Pocket Essentials, 2010). Guy Debord. ‘Theory of the Dérive,’ in: Ken Knabb ed. and trans. Situationist International Anthology No.2 (Berkeley, CA: Bureau of Public Secrets, 2006). Dee Heddon and Cathy Turner. ‘Walking Women: Interviews with artists on the move,’ in: Performance Research: A Journal of the Performing Arts No. 4, Vol. 15, (2010). Dee Heddon and Cathy Turner. ‘Walking Women: Shifting the Tales and Scales of Mobility,’ in: Contemporary Theatre Review No. 2, Vol. 22, (2012) Henri Lefebvre. The Production of Space, trans. Donald Nicholson-Smith (Oxford: Blackwell, 1991). Rachel Pain. ‘Gender, Race, Age and Fear in the City,’ in: Urban Studies, No. 5-6, Vol. 38, 2001, pp.899-913, accessed February 4, (2015). Rebecca Solnit. Wanderlust (London: Verso, 2001). Carolyn Whitzman. ‘Stuck at the Front Door: Gender, Fear of Crime and the Challenge of Creating Safer Space,’ in: Environment and Planning A, Vol. 39, (2001). 19
for a time when the risk of assault doesn   t exist, when I won   t get concerned looks from people when I say I was walki...
‘A Whisper’ Rest Stop Keilidh Ewan 20
   A Whisper     Rest Stop Keilidh Ewan  20
The Textual City: Walking in Govanhill Nicola Black In his essay ‘Walking in the City’, Michel de Certeau describes the act of looking down on Manhattan from the 110th floor of the World Trade Centre. He shows us a city transformed by pedestrians into a ‘texturology’ as the trajectories of walkers ‘whose bodies follow the thicks and thins of an urban ‘text’ they write without being able to read’, inscribe the city below. practitioners from Benjamin and du Bord to Sinclair and Solnit. But it is de Certeau’s evocative view of the city as a place of ‘spatial trajectories’ that I focus on here. For de Certeau, the cityscape is an unfolding narrative articulated through pedestrian footfall, whose myriad routes transform the streets into a textural space. While the focus of this piece is my experience of walking in Govanhill - a neighborhood on the Southside of Glasgow,three thousand miles away from the landscape of New York - I take inspiration from de Certeau’s prose as I cross the Glasgow cityscape. De Certeau’s vision of walking in the city echoes to me across time, as well as space, when he suggests that: While de Certeau’s eyrie at the top of a skyscraper confers a God-like view of Manhattan, it positions him at a distance. In contrast, I experience the urban landscape close up, amongst the ‘ordinary practitioners’ of the city - my fellow walkers and drifters in Glasgow. I am involved in a sensual, olfactory, messy, embodied response to my surroundings. Despite the difference in relationship to our subjects - one above with a totalizing view, one below in the midst of it - de Certeau’s vision of the city as a ‘human text’ traced by the movements of bodies through space, is an evocative one. For him, the act of walking becomes a form of storytelling - ‘every story is a travel story - a spatial practice’. Walking affirms, suspects, tries out, transgresses, respects, etc., the trajectories it ‘speaks’. All the modalities sing a part in this chorus, changing from step to step, stepping in through propositions, sequences, and intensities which vary according to the time, the path taken and the walker. Firstly, let me explain. I am an obsessive walker, flâneuse, a ‘Street Haunter’ as Virginia Woolf would have it. I am an urban voyeur, an city drifter, drawing inspiration from psychogeographic As a documentary filmmaker and researcher, I am drawn to processes of storytelling. Through my practice-lead research I am attempting to give voice to the hidden stories of the migrant communities who live in Govanhill, and to 21
The Textual City  Walking in Govanhill Nicola Black In his essay    Walking in the City   , Michel de Certeau describes th...
record them in a documentary film. Govanhill has a long history of migration; from Lowland and Highland Scots, to Irish, Jewish and Italian communities who moved to the area in search of work and a better life. In the 1950s Asian families settled here and more recently, Eastern Europeans arrived. With the admittance of the EU accession countries in 2004 and 2008, a steady flow of migrants from central and Eastern Europe found their way to Govanhill, which is now home to the largest Roma community in Scotland, thought to be around 3,500 people. I was brought up on the southside of Glasgow, a couple of train stops from Govanhill. My family and I frequented the various shops and amenities on Victoria Road, the main thoroughfare. I went to primary school here for a short time. Thus the area is bound up with childhood memories of buying school uniforms at Campbell’s outfitters, and eating ice-cream in the Italian cafes in summer. After traveling widely making documentary films for television, I returned to live in the Southside of this city and have since spent several months walking in Govanhill, adopting the derive or urban stroll as a method of engaging with, and mapping, my surroundings. I took up the actions of ‘Street Haunting’ as I explored the shops, alleyways, back courts and hidden spaces of the area and recorded my observations in notebooks and short photo-essays. My ‘inner landscape’ of childhood memories resonates with the external process of walking the area as I enter a liminal space of reverie and reminiscence. Slowly, I began to formulate a ‘cognitive map’ of the area, moving beyond an understanding of space through street formations, signage and landmarks to an acknowledgment of the wider social, political and ideological formations of place that is home to many transnational 22
record them in a documentary film. Govanhill has a long history of migration  from Lowland and Highland Scots, to Irish, J...
communities. This process of mental mapping has helped me understand what an architect or planner might call the genius loci or ‘sense of place’ associated with the area - the distinctive atmosphere or pervading spirit of the place. I would argue that, Govanhill’s ‘spirit of place’ is closely bound to its history as a site of migration. Over generations, the convergence of multi-ethnic communities has created a vibrant, dynamic space. This is evident in the shop fronts, cafes, restaurants, billboards and fashion outlets. It is also seen in the different forms of dress, diverse places of worship and the many languages that can be heard on street corners and in shops. The lives of generations of people who have lived in Govanhill are etched on the urban landscape, shaping its unique identity. It is the peripatetic practices and sensual enactments of everyday life - shopping, cooking, working, worshiping, community building - that ‘write’ the shifting text of the city which the walker is often privileged to share. To return to de Certeau’s observations: ... to walk is to immerse oneself in a place for a short period of time to be close to becoming part of the make-up of the place - at least to touch on that place in a haptic sort of way. This idea of a ‘haptic’ engagement suggests an embodied, sensual appreciation of one’s surrounding. Touch, texture, smell, colour sound and vision combine to create a phenomenological experience of place and space. This embodied understanding of place leads me to the ‘Govanhill Peoples’ History Project‘ which explores the social and cultural heritage of Govanhill bringing together people from different ethnic backgrounds and challenging preconceptions to improve an understanding of diverse cultural experiences. Volunteers are trained to collect stories from residents who had lived in the area all their lives, as well as migrants more recently settled here. These oral testimonies form 23
communities. This process of mental mapping has helped me understand what an architect or planner might call the genius lo...
the basis of the ‘Govanhill Listening Trail’, a 45 minute guided walk through the neighbourhood. Local memory is explored through the testimonies of different generations and ethnicities, giving voice to the experiences of transcultural communities living in the area over the past fifty years. study of Govanhill. As I move from ‘walking practice’ to ‘filmmaking process’, I am drawn to Guilliana Bruno’s work on the relationship between architecture, space, film and the human body. Bruno argues that ‘site’ and ‘sight’, ‘motion’ and ‘(e) motion’ are irrevocably connected and that walking (or other ‘psychogeoraphic journeys’), involve motion but also produce emotion. For Bruno, emotion itself contains a sense of forward movement: emotion speaks clearly about a ‘moving’ force with the meaning of emotion historically associated with ‘a moving out, migration, transference from one place to another’. Walking through Govanhill, with the Listening Trail playing on my headphones, I become immersed in the urban landscape, transported through memory - my own and others - back and forward in time in a dynamic, embodied understanding of place. There is a tangible relationship between individual, collective, and personal memory that speaks to the auto-ethnographic aspects of my research and leads me to consider to what extent my critical insights are shaped by a subjective understanding of Govanhill, and/or the observations and memories gathered through the experiences of others whose narratives are located there. This exploration of past and present through both sound and motion exemplified in the ‘Listening Trail’ is a useful starting point for my own documentary The idea of migration, suggested above, is interesting in the context of Govanhill’s transnational communities and their emotional journeys to that place. But Bruno also suggests that film itself can be seen as a mapping process - a kind of ‘cinematic cartography’. She draws together a number of complex ideas about the phenomenological relationship between the body, space, memory and film in the construction of place: In our own time, in which memories are (moving) images, this cultural function or recollection has been absorbed by motion pictures. In this sense, film is a modern cartography; its haptic way of site-seeing turns pictures into an architecture, transforming them into a geography of lived, and living space. For Bruno, this haptic relationship to one’s surroundings - the tactile ‘sensing’ of place through touch and through the skin - ‘represents a reciprocal contact between us and the environment’. She goes on to suggest that the haptic is also related to kinesthesis, the ability of our 24
the basis of the    Govanhill Listening Trail   , a 45 minute guided walk through the neighbourhood. Local memory is explo...
bodies to sense their own movement in space thus connecting ‘sense’ with ‘place’. This excavation of the cityscape through an understanding of memory and of personal experience speaks to the notion of the city as palimpsest - spaces that bear visible traces of its earlier form. This prompts a return to de Certeau’s idea of urban ‘texturology’, where lived experience is inscribed in the landscape through memory as well as through street names and other visible signs. But it is not just the city that can be seen as palimpsest. Film also fulfills this metaphorical function by capturing layers of meaning in time and space. Film records not only fragments of the past, but also personal narratives that speak across time to create a dynamic sense of place and give space meaning and resonance. It is the collective stories, embedded in place, that are crucial, since they forge an emotional connection with the viewer. As Id Bonderjerb suggests: As human beings we are programmed to narrative, narrative is one of the central ways of making sense of the real world and of things we encounter in audiovisual communication. But narratives are also linked to history, to our memory of the past, both our own and the collective past. Bonderjerb connects storytelling with memory, both personal and public, whether that is ‘felt’ or understood through moving image, or lens based practice. In my work I am drawing on personal memories of Govanhill - where I used to go shopping with my mother and aunt, and learned to swim in the Govanhill baths - as well as more traditional ethnographic study. It is this intersection between personal or ‘subjective’ understanding of space, ‘collective’ memory and contemporary experience of place that lies at the heart of my research. 25
bodies to sense their own movement in space thus connecting    sense    with    place   . This excavation of the cityscape...
Finally, this notion of the city as palimpsest, as a receptacle of meaning and experience, also resonates in the work of de Certeau when he suggests that places are haunted by the ‘silent spirits’ hidden there: Places are fragmentary and inward-turning histories, pasts that others are not allowed to read, accumulated times that can be unfolded but like stories held in reserve, remaining in an enigmatic state, symbolizations encysted in the pain or pleasure of the body. Thus, the narratives of the city are waiting to be uncovered by those searching for artifacts, lost stories, social histories and memories that have fashioned the world through which we now pass on our own trajectories as ‘our intertwining paths given their shape to space’. Sources Michel de Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life (Berkeley; London: University of California Press, 1988). Giuliana Bruno, Atlas of the Emotion. Journeys in Art, Architecture, and Film, (London: Verso, 2007). Id Bondebjerg, Documentary and Cognitive Theory: Narrative, Emotion and Memory. Media and Communication, 2(1), 13-22 (2012).
Finally, this notion of the city as palimpsest, as a receptacle of meaning and experience, also resonates in the work of d...
Final Steps Keilidh Ewan ‘Last Ray On The Coastline’ 27
Final Steps Keilidh Ewan     Last Ray On The Coastline     27
Minor Paths Alan Macpherson ‘If I am gone and with no trace / I will be in a minor place’ - Bonnie “Prince” Billy Minor Paths began, in the summer of 2012, as a writing and research residency with Deveron Arts in the Aberdeenshire town of Huntly. Over the course of a few speculative walks around town, my focus turned to mapping what I began to refer to as the ‘minor paths’ of Huntly – essentially, paths made by walking: the footworn tracks and lines that rarely, if ever, appear on any kind of maps but can be found throughout the town (as they can be found in all towns, and every inhabited place). Walking was my methodology, but I also distributed cards and set up a stall at the farmer’s market to ask people for any such paths they knew of. I then went on foot to locate them, walk them, and document their position. I collected them at minorpaths.wordpress.com and also created a map: Map of the Minor Paths of Huntly. The project culminated with an event, Rite of Way, which involved the reinstatement of one such minor path along a half-kilometre section of the River Bogie, which flows through the town. In Huntly at that time there was, and there still is, a strong interest in ‘major’ paths: paths that link up areas, paths that afford long walks, paths that are accessible, paths in open countryside, paths of historical or geographical significance. The minor prefix, on the other hand, highlights the mundane nature of the paths that came to fascinate me – mundane both in the ‘earthly’ and ‘banal’ senses. Minor paths are less celebrated (by cartographers for one), lack history, are less used and are often created by chance or circumstance that is neither significant nor particularly interesting. Some of these paths follow delightful river banks; some weave through forests, 28
Minor Paths Alan Macpherson    If I am gone and with no trace   I will be in a minor place    - Bonnie    Prince    Billy ...
but in many cases the spaces they link are also mundane, everyday places: a supermarket and a housing estate; a playing field and a road. The commonplace aspect of these lines and paths tends to render them unnoticed, and to veil their devious fascination. In his chapter on walking in the city, from The Practice of Everyday Life, Michel De Certeau likens pedestrian movement to writing, suggesting that city walkers write ‘an urban text’. For De Certeau, this text is in conflict with the abstraction of the city as it is seen on a map or from the top of a tall building, the city of cartographers and urban planners. De Certeau’s walkers move about their environment in ways that transcend the intended use of designed space. Their narratives cut across boundaries, hop over walls, pause, turn back on themselves, follow their own paths. This is not only the case in the city. Such (walking) texts, in the concretized landscape of the urban centre, exist mainly as invisible trails of movement and traceless footsteps. Minor paths, however, offer a visual and material record of our pedestrian movement across land that is inscribable. They are the imprint of our deviations from the prescribed or long practiced routes now made permanent as roads and pavements. Throughout the project the criterion that I tried to stick by, in terms of identifying a path as ‘minor’, was ‘made by walking’. There are many tracks and paths that have undergone a process of minorization, that have at one time been significant routes now fallen out of use that I didn’t include. But it was this condition of walking-as-production that made the Rite of Way event a particularly effective conclusion to the project. The path recovered by the Rite of Way event may have been in use for centuries going back to the industrial heritage of the river. But when I came upon it in spring of 2012 it had all but disappeared. In The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot Robert Macfarlane writes: ‘The eye is enticed by a path, and the mind’s eye also. The imagination cannot help but pursue a line in the land – onwards in space, but also backwards in time to the histories of a route and its previous followers’. This was certainly the case for the line by the Bogie that I first discovered – fragmented, overgrown, in places non-existent – while walking one evening with my wife, and subsequently set about organising to reclaim in a group walking action. The Bogie was the location of the bleach-fields, the brewery, the dye 29
but in many cases the spaces they link are also mundane, everyday places  a supermarket and a housing estate  a playing fi...
works, and at one time or another up to seven mills. The line along its bank traces through a rich social history. By walking it back into existence, the history and the present time of this section of the river could be opened up for others to discover, if they so desired. In organising an event through which this reclaiming of the path could be enacted communally, my feeling was that not only would some people walk on this line for the first time, but that others might follow in the future. To produce a visible line, however faint and however temporary, that might be seen by passers-by, would entail, by way of a legacy, an invitation: an enticement to the eye, and to ‘the mind’s eye also’. The idea of walking a path (back) into existence is not new. Richard Long’s A Path Made By Walking (1967) is an iconic work of twentieth century art. It is also a significant point of contact for this event, alongside Hamish Fulton’s A Walk Around the Block in Huntly in 2010. There, Fulton organised participants to walk continuously for two hours in single file around a circular route in Huntly’s town centre without speaking, and with each participant maintaining a constant distance of two metres from the person in front. The Rite of Way walk gestures back to these works. The idea was to take a group of people and have them walk back and forth along the line of the discontinuous path until a continuous line became visible in the ground. Keeping in single file was important, too, not only to make the tramping of feet more effective in path-making, but because the area of riverbank was at times so narrow that there was no other option. As with Long’s line, walking is the means of producing the mark and, as with Long’s work, there is an ephemerality attached to the process; a line made in the ground in this way will soon be reclaimed, in turn, by the undergrowth. Unless it continues to be walked. However, the idea of this walk as a ritual, in terms of the strictures placed upon it, 30
works, and at one time or another up to seven mills. The line along its bank traces through a rich social history. By walk...
was undermined by the general conviviality of the event. We got a nice day for it and among the participants were several who had never been to Huntly before, let alone the Bogie riverbank. One of the most rewarding aspects of the walk was the conversation that took place between people who were previously unfamiliar but who were brought together, here, by walking next to each other in the act of bringing a path into being. In total, thirty-seven people walked in line back and forth three times over an hour and a half. The result was a clearly discernible path, if one with a distinctly minor character. The reclaimed path by the Bogie River is the legacy of the Minor Paths project and my contribution to the Deveron Arts’ Town Collection. In the two years since the event, to my knowledge, the path has had continued, if sporadic, attention. In 2014, Magnetic North used it in the Huntly performance of A Walk at the Edge of the World. But it is always suspended, always under threat of dis- appearance. Every summer it has to be walked back into visibility. So, as with all minor paths, its future will be decided democratically, by the feet that walk it. Sources The full collection of Huntly minor paths can be found on the website: http://minorpaths.wordpress.com, along with essays, walk notes, and a collection of ‘Path Pieces’ – writing produced by members of the Huntly Writers group, inspired by a workshop we ran as part of the Minor Paths project. Michel De Certeau, The Practice of Everyday Life, trans. by Stephen Rendall (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984). Robert Macfarlane, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot (London: Penguin, 2012). Hamish Fulton, Mountain Time Human Time (Milan & New York: Charta, 2010). Nicholas Bone, Sans façon, and Ian Cameron, A Walk at the Edge of the World (Performed in Huntly, 27 June 2014). 31
was undermined by the general conviviality of the event. We got a nice day for it and among the participants were several ...
Larks Sam Walton marks deep and muddles ground soaks and washes freezes deeply is pressing under bore bare climbs walls to wash film weighs down waves presses from pass to press sand to sounding face whose making is in the movement carrying not completely dead soaking or deadening through skin whoever’s skin it was not completely missed and in the air straining a mile from coast the slim prick of salt pinching the eye’s pitch invoking salt broken into it (winter) saline heart, rock soul they call it imprints fine as hair as cut with shards engraver’s nail tease set time to breathing into dirt 32
Larks Sam Walton marks deep and muddles ground soaks and washes freezes deeply is pressing under bore bare climbs walls to...
eating through and out, as a hard and hollow hand marks deep and absolute a mud wall twists and lets out moisture an all too glut of life a wet-dressed thing making eyes and needs and tails into your hands it is take it into your hands into your skin it is have it into your skin and so you into its own skin may freely admit it’s own passage into it watery passenger mark it down your eyes are wide and corded ears shell cones into the course you mist are mist on the blink curving through gulls beating the rock’s bridge are sky beat fired as you into stone lapse it rubbed static o sea bloom into the other now and then and how it was when it is and how it is moved through if you must do make yourself known tight in the mass cut the blade straight from the grass folding myself into the cleft 33
eating through and out, as a hard and hollow hand marks deep and absolute a mud wall twists and lets out moisture an all t...
a sea tunnel all the better to foul myself with all that’s able to passes through the skin and makes a cord more finely wrapped than what’s settled on the body’s floor rake a claim through it with both hands, hair alone in the mess dispense with strands depress through the water a worm and the worm saw sense pumped itself immortal outsiding knocked the dint out of love let itself in 34
a sea tunnel all the better to foul myself with all that   s able to passes through the skin and makes a cord more finely ...
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Note on Contributors: @DeirdreHeddon is an artist and lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. She has done a lot of walking and writing about walking, and has previously written on autobiography and performance. She has increasingly turned her attention to relationships between performance and the environment, and has more recently written about the use of walking in performance practice, specifically in women’s art. @Keilidhewan, 2013 Gray’s School Of Art Graduate, is a Photographer and Visual Artist based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her work captures the essence of space and location designed as a narrative for viewer interpretation; often comparing the manmade with the natural in a minimalist documentary style, her work is highly influenced by cinematography. You can see more of Keilidh’s pieces at keilidhewan.com @Jennifer_Brough works in publishing and can usually be found reading, writing or, when she’s not surrounded by words, planning adventures. To read her more of her work or say hello, visit jenniferbrough.wordpress. com. Rebecca Livesay-Wright is a writer, artist and recent graduate of Central St. Martins and has been living Glasgow since October 2015. Her ongoing research interests include walking, understanding a sense of place, and feminism. She is currently developing a collaborative project across distances with her friend Rowan Tara de Freitas. They are exploring the impact of myth, walking and mythogeography on the development of place identity and personal identity. 36
Note on Contributors   DeirdreHeddon is an artist and lecturer in Theatre Studies at the University of Glasgow. She has do...
Nicola Black is a PhD candidate in the department of Media, Culture and Society at the University of the West of Scotland, looking at the experiences of the transnational communities living in Govanhill, Glasgow. She is involved in Documentary production as a practitioner, researcher and lecturer. Her interests lie in working with communities on collaborative projects and in immersive content - in the gallery, in site specific work as well as in film and digital media contexts. She is currently completing a long-form documentary about underground film director Kenneth Anger, for festival release. Alan Macpherson is a PhD candidate in English and Visual Culture at the University of Aberdeen. Broadly, his research concerns the relationship between text and visual culture in contemporary poetics, new nature writing, and contemporary art, and how these intersect with critical and theoretical approaches to literature and the environment in the Anthropocene. His thesis addresses these interests through a series of encounters in the work of Kathleen Jamie. He teaches on the English and Literature in a World Context programmes at Aberdeen and writes for Deveron Arts in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. @Samlwalton is a Lecturer in English Literature: Writing and the Environment at Bath Spa University. She specialises in twentieth and twenty first century literature, from the modernist period to contemporary experimental writing, and in particular British literature and culture of the 1920s and 1930s. Her research is informed by environmental humanities and health humanities perspectives. She has published three chapbooks, tristanundisolde, City Break Weekend Songs and Amaranth, Unstitched and has had her poems published in the Cambridge Literary Review, Hand + Star, Other Room Anthology, the Aubin and Wills Almanac, Scree and other small magazines and journals. 37
Nicola Black is a PhD candidate in the department of Media, Culture and Society at the University of the West of Scotland,...