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Exploring our smallness and the interconnectedness of everything

Today is the beginning of Walking Beyond Words.

In this series of 52 weekly walks we are walking alone, knowing that others are walking also. It is a kind of solitary companionship, one that allows for the reflective, unpressured experience of solo walking, to be combined with the sense of belonging that comes from feeling part of a communal activity.

This best of both worlds has arisen through simultaneous walking activities during lockdown (e.g. Walks with[out] edges and PORTAL walks), but was also present in earlier collaborations such as ‘If the Cloud allows’ which involved people walking in a circle in Cambridge, UK and Basra, Iraq with a shared view of the moon.

The ecological themes emerging from earlier walks feed into the simple prompts for these walks which give the Walk an active role. They draw attention to the interactive, vibrant energy of everything in and around us.  The idea is that the prompts might help to reframe our walks and challenge our human-centred perspective.

The first walk is The Walk smiles at you.

Those who walk with the prompts are invited to send up to 10 words after the walk. These responses to the walk are formed into a poetry collage which is sent out with the prompt for the following week. Not everyone will walk each week or send words, and there is no pressure to participate. 20 people are currently receiving the weekly emails, including people in India, Turkey, the USA and the UK. Walkers are invited to suggest prompts and share the creation of the poetry collages.

The prompts are like little experiments. We might intimate from the responses, how they help us to re-imagine our connectedness. In this way we are researching how words can activate different experiences of walking.

This project is a collaboration between Aya Hastwell, Sally Stenton and all the walkers who are participating.

The project is affiliated to Experimental Space Collective [esc], an international, artist collective.

If you would like to find out more and/or join the project please get in touch via the contact page on my website.