Ways of walking, ways of talking
I have been contemplating an online chat I had a while ago with good friend Linda Carroli, who has been exploring suburban environments through a range of lenses, including walking and fieldwork. Linda posted an interesting article on Facebook about how a group of walkers would meet up and walk together through their community. What was interesting about this post was that the group used their smart phones to ‘map’ the walk. I am still looking for a link to this article, which I would love to share.
At the time, I mentioned that I preferred not being in a group, and over the last little while I have been considering why. Firstly, I think my preferred type of walk is one in the natural environment, as when I am in built environments I don’t consider the ‘walk’ in the same context as I do in the bush. This led me to think that in fact I DO enjoy walking and talking when in the city and suburbs. The difference is how I perceive the walk, wither as a communal or private activity.
Recently, I was talking to one of the Yorta Yorta elders and she mentioned that when you are quiet in the bush you can ‘hear’ nature. This reasonated for me as I find walking in natural environments very restorative and a healing experience, which is one of the reasons I enjoy walking after a long week in the office.
It is the type of walk that gives you energy to face the next challenge and to take a moment to appreciate and be grateful for the beautiful environment we live in.
Another type of walking sprang to mind – one that IS about the community and not necessarily about the ‘place’ we enhabit or find ourselves exploring. Walking for an issue has been a way of raising public awareness around social and political issues, this type of walking is necessary en masse. For example, on Saturday 22 June, a large group of people met on a chilly Canberra day to ‘Welcome’ people to Australia and to show support for human rights issues including refugees in detention and Indigenous rights. See the post about theWalk Together on Amnesty Internal’s website.
I am still lookng for that neat article from Linda and will include a link once I find it. For now I have found a couple of other interesting walking resources.
- Walking World Britain
- Walk Friendly Communities
- Walking in Forests
- Just start walking Australia
- Your Friends Have More Friends Than You Do: Identifying Influential Mobile Users Through Random Walks (PDF)
- Moveable Feast Offers Tools for Multimedia, Mobile Walking Tours
- Walking through time