Late last week I caught up with Ben Waddington, Director of Still Walking, and we chatted about some of the upcoming events for this month’s festival. It’s going to be the fifth edition of Still Walking, and by the 3rd August when the festival ends, it will have been Ben’s fourth Still Walking Festival in 12 months.
At the time of writing, the Still Walking programme has only been online for 24 hours and already several of the events have sold out. Including Birmingham Boscage, featured in my ‘top picks’ below (crossing my fingers and toes for a re-run of this one.)
The festival is spread across the two last weekends of July, packed with walks, tours and gatherings. For this edition, festival-goers can run, cycle and – of course, walk – around the city and see Birmingham in a new light.
Curious minds looking to experience something new can book onto events which include a cinematic run through city woodland at twilight, a cycling tour of Birmingham’s lost cinemas, a tour with promoter Dave Travis of 1980s alternative music haunts, an exploration of Ikon Gallery’s humble origins, and an attempt to get purposefully lost in the city’s ever changing landscape.
Below are a few of my top picks.
Sat 2nd Aug, 1pm with Bill Aitchison
Waylosing is a walking tour which explores what it means to lose your way. Some people have a special talent for getting lost, others have a compass-like sense of direction. Rather than viewing being lost negatively, this tour will consider it as a unique state in which places, people and objects all appear detached from their familiar matrix.
The tour will be guided by the ideas and poetics of losing one’s way while at the same time following an indeterminate route through the city. We will use a variety of techniques to take us well off the beaten path. The starting point is agreed and the end of the walk is back in the city centre but where we go between these two points will be determined by just how well we succeed getting lost.
For more information about this event, and to purchase tickets visit the Still Walking page for the event.
Fri 25th July, 5.30pm with Danielle Blackburn
As long as the public can maintain conscientious behaviour, then they can have access to public access spaces. Various signs across Birmingham warn against loitering, which is apparently spending fifteen minutes to two hours in a public space without intention, according to officials.
Still Loitering will visit areas of Birmingham with these signs in place in order to question and challenge the notion of what it is “to loiter” in a flash mob-esque exploration. Is there such a thing as loitering? Is to enforce a “no loitering” rule criminal and unjust in a public space? Will we elicit threat, irritation or curiosity?
For more information about this event, visit the event listing HERE.
Fri 25th July, 9pm with Gudrun Irminsu
Gudrun has devised an 8km running route connecting the city’s woodlands, wild copses and unchecked wildernesses. The route affords a rapidly shifting landscape experienced in failing light – physical exertion makes this a reality rather than a purely cinematic viewing. The run is intended for practised runners who will be confident in keeping the pace over 70 – 80 minutes over a variety of terrains.
More information about event on the listing HERE.
Full programme available at www.stillwalking.org.