Workshop | Creative Approaches to Memory TFDC 2.16
Jul 03, 2023 14:00 - 16:00(Europe/London)
20230703T1400 20230703T1600 Europe/London PRE-CONFERENCE WORKSHOP - Walking the Walls: Retrieving, Reimagining, Rewriting the City – a Performative Creative Workshop

'Only thoughts reached by walking have value' – Friedrich NietzscheThe medieval boundaries of the city of Newcastle form a ring whose upper limit sweeps south of the University, from Gallowgate to New Bridge Street, along a line which encircles the city centre. To the west stand medieval towers, walls, and gates but further east these urban defences are overwritten by car parks, offices, fast-food cafés, and intersected by a motorway. To walk this line is to recognise the formation of the successive folds and layers out of which the modern city of Newcastle is made. Our purpose in doing so is to recover and reimagine the city in our own writing.In this workshop we will explore the urban landscape through some of the core concepts to come out of the field of psychogeography: the study of how places affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The practice of dérive, (French for drift) which encompasses attitudinal, attentive, and totemic walking, is a performative and subversive technique for experiencing urban spaces in the hope of provoking social change and strengthening community.Through these sensory, radical wanderings we will reflect on how our experience of environments shapes us, how we might shape them and how by harnessing our powers of deep observation in relation to our surroundings, we can shape our writing.Our walking will act as a lens, examining and exploring the city as an assemblage of texts, voices, figures, objects, structures, and spaces operating within communities at different scales. It will enable us to 'zoom in' on minute details in the environment and step back out to our immediate location, the city at large, the region and the wider set of cultural and social relationships it inhabits.Our writing will enable us to reflect on what ...

TFDC 2.16 MSA Conference Newcastle 2023 conference@memorystudiesassociation.org
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'Only thoughts reached by walking have value' – Friedrich Nietzsche

The medieval boundaries of the city of Newcastle form a ring whose upper limit sweeps south of the University, from Gallowgate to New Bridge Street, along a line which encircles the city centre. To the west stand medieval towers, walls, and gates but further east these urban defences are overwritten by car parks, offices, fast-food cafés, and intersected by a motorway. To walk this line is to recognise the formation of the successive folds and layers out of which the modern city of Newcastle is made. Our purpose in doing so is to recover and reimagine the city in our own writing.

In this workshop we will explore the urban landscape through some of the core concepts to come out of the field of psychogeography: the study of how places affect our thoughts, feelings and behaviour. The practice of dérive, (French for drift) which encompasses attitudinal, attentive, and totemic walking, is a performative and subversive technique for experiencing urban spaces in the hope of provoking social change and strengthening community.

Through these sensory, radical wanderings we will reflect on how our experience of environments shapes us, how we might shape them and how by harnessing our powers of deep observation in relation to our surroundings, we can shape our writing.

Our walking will act as a lens, examining and exploring the city as an assemblage of texts, voices, figures, objects, structures, and spaces operating within communities at different scales. It will enable us to 'zoom in' on minute details in the environment and step back out to our immediate location, the city at large, the region and the wider set of cultural and social relationships it inhabits.

Our writing will enable us to reflect on what the poet Gwyneth Lewis called 'the deep congruence between the structure of the physical world and … art' and involve ourselves in 'an entanglement of diverse elements and strands, using stories of people and things' identified by poet and geographer, Tim Cresswell.

These techniques will help us to challenge what might otherwise become our collectively passive view of the shared spaces that we inhabit, to resist the dislocation of our social worlds and our physical spaces. Close reading of this urban 'text', with its convergence of the medieval and the modern can galvanise us into a radical remembering and reimagination of the city.

The workshop will combine discussion, walking and writing exercises. It is open to everyone who is interested in the urban landscape and would enjoy writing in response.

We can accommodate disability.


Places are limited to 12 participants and pre-booking is required. 

Book your place by selecting a (free) ticket for the workshop on our registration page: https://msa2023newcastle.dryfta.com/attendee-registration-tickets

No speaker for this session!
 Mary-Jane Holmes
PhD Student
,
Newcastle University
PGR
,
Newcastle University
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