International Walking Encounters/Conference
Sunday July 4th to Sunday July 11th2021, Prespa, Greece
Walking as a Question
Greg Giannis, One step and I’ m elsewhere. Walkshop realised during the International Encounters/Conference of 2019, Prespes. Photos: Vasilis Ioakeimidis.
What questions does walking pose? What questions can walking be used to explore? Who walks? Who chooses to walk? Who is forced to walk? Who can walk? Who cannot? In raising walking as a question in itself, we invite critical and artistic engagement with the limits and possibilities of this most everyday of modalities. Borders and checkpoints curtail walking. Dog companions stimulate a stroll. People have been forcibly marched to new territories. People have walked across enormous distances in search of refuge, asylum and freedom. Some use parks and hiking trails for their regular exercise; others walk miles to work; still others must contend with walls or constricted spaces such as in a prison yard or camp.
● How can walking be used to highlight or intervene in political, personal, social, economic, and ecological issues?
● How does walking expose assumptions regarding ability/disability, mobility and immobility?
● How can we think about the material and sensory aspects of walking—the soles of one’s feet, calluses, footwear, hiking poles, crutches and wheelchairs?
● What sort of a question can walking as an aesthetic practice ask of our contemporary moment—of the pandemic, of migration, of climate change?
● What questions does the ground you walk on raise?
● What sort of questions does walking ask of you as a person? How do you ask questions by walking?
● What questions are activated by walking the territories we inhabit (in terms of negotiating and designing the urban/rural - public/private space)?
● What questions are activated by walking the territories and with the communities of Prespa?
● How can we share a walking experience in real time with others who live elsewhere in the world through walking hubs?
CALL FOR CREATIVE PROJECTS AND PAPERS
We invite proposals from artists, writers and other creative practitioners, critics and scholars that take up any or all of the provocative questions embedded within the Encounters/ Conference theme. of the International Walking Encounters / Conference. All media and formats are welcomed: e.g., film, poetry and other textual interventions, sonic investigations and audio papers, performances, immersive virtual experiences, digital and new media art as well as sound walks, guided walks, workshops/participatory walkshops etc.
We ask proposals to consider how the work can be experienced virtually if it is also conducted on the ground, in real time.
The 2021 Walking Encounters / Conference is the second international walking Encounters/Conference that takes place in Prespa. The Encounters / Conference was first realized in 2019 by Visual March to Prespa,an artistic venue of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Western Macedonia (EETF/UOWM), and by Made of Walking (VI). The Encounters / Conference was titled Walking Practices/Walking Art/Walking Bodiesand initiated a momentum of research in the field of the walking arts. An archive of all the walking activities was realized and can be accessed in https://tinyurl.com/youtube channel WAC 2019 and a 600-page volume recorded the process and its outcome, both artistic and theoretical. The Walking Arts Encounters Conference, 2021 takes place in a collaboration of Visual March to Prespa (EETF/UOWM) with Made of Walking (VIII), AICA/Hellas and with other international and local partners. Artists, cultural practitioners and scholars interested in walking practices are invited. to explore these questions on foot and with materials and media in a variety of ways.
SUBMISSIONS: TWO PATHWAYS
For the 2021 edition of the Encounters/Conference, to be held in the shadow of the pandemic, the main activities will be held in Prespa but in addition we will explore the possibilities that virtual international exchange can facilitate. To that end, we invite submissions along two tracks:
TRACK ONE: As a “Hub”: A hub is a partner based anywhere in the world who wishes to organize a set of local events or activities that align with the Prespa Encounters / Conference theme--but which respond to questions and conditions within their own site/network/region. Such activities, during the period of 4-11 July 2021, might include local walking experiences, performances, conversations and panels with some component of these events organized so they can be experienced long-distance by a conference participant in any location. Hub partners may be artistic or curatorial collectives, local networks or organizations or university programs. The encounters/conference provides access to a larger international network of walking practitioners and scholars as well as promotion for all activities, but the local hub bears the responsibility for organizing and resourcing the events. A hub application should include the following:
● Conceptual framework or theme that relates to the encounters/conference: What walking questions/practices are unique to your location/region? Is there a site-specific theme?
● Program: Duration, content, activities you propose, including panels, performances, walks etc. How will these be curated or solicited?
● Capacity: What resources or experience do you have in organizing such an event?
● Virtual/networked component: How will the works/events/presentations your hub realizes be made available to the Walking Encounters/Conference? Finalists for hub partners will be scheduled for an interview with the organizers before the final confirmation and are asked to express their interest latest by 30th of March 2021.
TRACK TWO: As an individual proposal for papers and audiopapers, walkshops or other creative proposals. This may be submitted by an individual or small group in relationship to the Encounters / Conference theme. We seek a balance between Prespa-located and other projects considering questions that arise around mobility/immobility, including participants that are not able to travel.
The conference organizers are open to a range of formats as indicated above. The application should include the following (full details see below this page):
● Thematic connection: How does your project/paper take up the theme of walking as a question?
● Description of the project or an abstract of the paper
● Location: Is the project being proposed for Prespa? How can it be shared or experienced virtually in Prespa?
We encourage interactive, interdisciplinary and collaborative/participative/collective approaches. Submission Deadline: 30th of April 2021
*The official language of the walkshops and conference is English, although hub activities may be organized in other languages.
MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE APPLICATION PROCESS: