International Walking Arts Encounters/Conference
Monday, July 3rd to Sunday, July 9th 2023, Prespa, Greece
Walking Visions/Visions for Walking
Walking goes far beyond the geographical, territorial, and tangible perimeters of the land. What are the imaginative and visionary potentials of walking? Towards what future are we walking? How can walking as an artistic practice enable new visions?
The first Walking Arts Encounters/Conference (WAC) held in Prespes (2019) focused on “walking bodies” and on physical and perceptible relations to the landscape. The second WAC event (2021) brought up a more socio-political perspective, by addressing “walking as a question”. In this third encounter, we go beyond the tangible presence of the body in space, or the different approaches that walking has in addressing socio, political, economic or ecological issues. We open up a third dimension, connected to the main idea of “Walking Visions”. How does walking allow us to access intangible experiences or potential conditions, past, present or future?
● Peripatetic Philosophy: How does walking relate to a philosophical act? How do we think on our feet, or in motion? How might ideas unfold through the actions of walking?
● Walking in the imagination: How does walking transform our society as an instrument of creativity? How does walking become art? How do science fiction, afro-futurism and speculative writing connect with walking visions?
● Walking Landscapes: How is landscape affected by walking and how does walking change landscape? How have pandemic changes adapted city scapes? How are rural environments perceived in relation to permissions to walk or not walk (private property, rights of way, racism, trespass)?
● Ableism and Movement: What is walking for those who cannot walk? How can we interpret walking if we do not focus on the rhythmic movement of the legs? How can walking practices that use remote, proxy or virtual approaches enable more people to experience walking?
● Walking and activism/ Political walking: What sort of vision can walking as an aesthetic practice ask of our future — economy, climate crisis, migration? What does walking demand when used as an activistic medium in the context of art?
● Walking as an invisible monument: How is walking connected to memory? How is this concept connected to the construction or recollection of memories in a walking process? How does walking bring people together to commemorate and make visible?
● Future landscapes and Future nature: How can we structure futures that centre walking in creative and pleasurable ways - enabling more people to have agency over their mobility? How can walking build connections with food and sustenance through foraging, patchwork food growing, guerilla gardening?
● Walking as utopian, mystical and magic experience: Is walking a universal act? Is it a way or method to connect to the spiritual and the magical of our world, through rituals, meditation? Is it a symbolic act that creates a space for reflection and action for new and possible futures? How do indigenous epistemologies relate to walking?
● Walking and psychological well being: what kinds of walking practices target mental health challenges? Are there particular walking methods that aim to clear one’s mind, fight one’s inner demons, release one’s sense of humor or open one’s heart? Can walking collectively become a form of mutual aid?
We invite proposals from artists, writers and other creative practitioners, critics and scholars that take up the provocation of the encounters/conference themes.
We are open to paper proposals and artistic or walkshop proposals in different media and formats: interdisciplinary and fine arts, video and 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/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
It is not obliged to submit a proposal to participate in the encounters/conference, your participation as an attendee is very much welcomed and allows you to take part in all activities.
Please visit https://icowaf.eetf.uowm.gr/ to learn more about the first iterations of the Walking Encounters Conference (2019 and 2021). You may also visitthe video archive of the walkshops that were realized in 2019 and 2021 in https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCa1TjD5UrWZzlaeLCW950Q/playlists
- Herman Bashiron Mendolicchio, Lecturer at University of Barcelona, Spain
- Fiona Hesse, Art Historian (PhD), Independent Curator, and Associate Curator at Fondation Beyeler, Riehen/Basel, Switzerland
- Anna Luyten, Lecturer at KASK, University of the Arts Ghent and Institute of Performative Arts Hogeschool Zuyd Maastricht
- Lydia Matthews, Professor of Visual Culture, Parsons School of Design / The New School, New York, USA
- Clare Qualmann, Associate Professor (Reader) in Performance, University of East London, United Kingdom
- Geert Vermeire, Artist, Curator, the Milena principle & walk · listen · create (WLC), (Walking Encounters coordinator, “Made of Walking” coordinator), Belgium
- Yannis Ziogas, Painter, Professor, School of Fine and Applied Arts, School of Fine Arts, University of Western Macedonia, Greece
Artists and creatives are invited to explore these questions on foot and with materials and media in a variety of ways. For example (but not exclusively) with media and sound walks, performative walks, guided walks, walking as drawing or other hybrid formats between visual arts and walking, hybrid formats of writing and walking, virtual and digital interactions, engagement. etc.
The Encounters/Conference invites proposals from artists and researchers, creative practitioners and academic researchers investigations in different media and disciplines, including video and film, poetry, visual artworks, texts, audio paper and other.
A proposal for papers and audiopapers, walkshops or other creative proposals may be submitted online by an individual or small group in relationship to the Encounters/Conference theme. Priority will be given to proposals that will be presented or realized in Prespa. The conference organizers are open to a range of formats as indicated above.
The application should be submitted at http://icowaf.eetf.uowm.gr/
The application should include the following:
● Thematic connection: How does your artistic work/walkshop/paper take up the theme of Walking Visions?
● It needs to be specified if the application is for a artistic work/walkshop, paper, an audio paper Description of the project or an abstract of the paper (up to 300 words)
● Short CV (up to 150 words)
● Location: Is the artistic work/walkshop/paper being proposed for Prespa or will it be remote?
● 5 photos or images (if needed) or links related to the proposal.
● For the walkshops, information about an estimated duration, desired time of the day (dawn, morning, midday, afternoon, dusk/evening, night) and a maximum number of participants needs to be included
Submission Deadline: 31st of March 2023
By April 10th 2023 the applicants will receive a notification of acceptance.
In the proposal the applicant should specify whether he/she intends to travel to Prespa or will participate from a distance, and as well if this participation will take shape as an individual or as a hub (a local group or local initiative). It needs to be clear in the application in which way the proposals are integrated in the general process of the Encounters/Conference in Prespa (local or global) and in which way this will be connected both to the subject of the Encounters/Conference and the place of Prespa.
The official language of the conference is English.
March 31st, 2023: Submission of abstract/art projects.
April 10th, 2023: Author/Artist Notification.
April 30th, to June 20th, 2023: Registration.
July 3rd to 9th, 2023: Walking Encounters /Conference.
August 30th, 2023: Submission of the final papers/ description and documentation of the projects.
CONTACT E-MAIL firstname.lastname@example.org
WAC is organized by the University of Western Macedonia, co-organized and in partnership with Made of Walking/the Milena principle, walk · listen · create (WLC).
 ableism: discrimination in favour of non-disabled people.