Walking in the city
Walking is an everyday practice. Through walking we connect with our surroundings in a tactile way. It’s pace keeps us moving but also slows us down a little and opens up a space to dig deeper than the eye approves. Instead of restricting the potential of a guided walk to mere historical or monumental tours of the city, we approach walking as a creative practice, as a way to learn and question. We walk amidst ordinary and everyday life, with no burden of upholding legacy or memory. Walking is a field of imagination. The physicality of walking punctuated by stories can create a sensuous experience, if little else.
Some of the guided walks we have devised are :
The Olfactory Chambers of Ward 88: A walk in and around drains and dumps in Ward 88 tracing the journey of the garbage bag. The walk is rooted in the labor practices involved in garbage collection and disposal.
Look After Your Belongings: A walk in the Shivajinagar market, from the perspective of the sidewalk. An attempt to write and include histories that are in danger of being erased and silenced; to record and mark evictions and displacements in the city.
Hello, Said the Night: An invitation to explore and encounter and make new interpretations of the night and the body venturing out at night. Beyond the vocabulary of fear and risk, can the night offer an alternate meaning of the city, a different relationship with the body?
Walking and public space: In the course, we foreground the experience of walking as a research methodology and a creative practice to explore mutations taking place within the city. Through walking we hope to pay close attention to how we sense different urban environments and subsequently understand what meanings they produce. Students will experience their immediate environments by walking and storytelling. Readings will supplement the walk, to explore questions on changing definitions of public space. The course will open the minds of the students to locate and perceive the multiple meanings and function of public space, in relation to their own lives in the city. This course was conducted with students of Azim Premji University in 2016.