Shadow-walks

Drifting Bodies / Fluent Spaces – Lab2PT & Made of Walking (VII) – Guimaraes (Portugal)

Artists and academics were invited to participate with an audio paper (a performative or walking audio essay) or an audio walk for the walking arts encounters/conference Drifting Bodies – Fluid Spaces / Made of Walking (VII). Below, work submitted as walking audio essay or sound walk.

In this audio paper I describe my ongoing Shadow-walks project, which has occurred in Asia, Europe, Australia and the Americas. The process is straightforward. I arrive in a new place and ask local inhabitants to take me on a special walk, one that has been repeated many times and has meaning or significance for that person. While walking together, I record our conversations and their stories. I then go back along the same route alone, attempting to get a sense of my previous companion’s traces on the walk, and I sing what I feel using wordless improvisations. An idea attributed to James Joyce is that places remember events and I find this idea very engaging – as if everything that happens leaves traces that we might be able to sense. If a person walks through certain places repeatedly, along the same route, does that act of walking impose a trace that can be mapped across time and space? In a sense Shadow-walks is an attempt to make a person’s traces, their shadow, audible through my singing, improvising voice. During the Covid 19 pandemic I have adapted the project to become Shadow-walks (at home), in which I gather recorded descriptions of walks and my singing reflects how I imagine them.
Examples of these and other Shadow-walks are played, including one in the borderlands of the Greek Prespes area and another with two women who discuss their fear of femicide in Mexico City.

key words: walking, sounding, communities, memory, narrative

Since 2020
SWS SWS20
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Hosted by Drifting Bodies / Fluent Spaces - Made of Walking (VII), Guimaraes (Portugal) - 22-24 July 2020
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