The Walking Neighbourhood
A guided interactive tour by children: Take a curated tour around the city with a child as your guide. The Walking Neighbourhood offers participants and audiences a new way to see and experience places and spaces. Children are in control of developing the artistic encounter, guiding an audience, navigating the physical space and sharing their experiences of autonomy and their world, all the while creating new friendships.
Conceived during residencies in 2 schools, Tasmania Australia and Toronto Canada, where 11 year olds shared very similar concerns about their lack of autonomy. The Walking Neighbourhood responds to the rising hysteria around children in public space and their safety. Intrigued by tall tales about encounters with adults in cars trying to pick up children (it was someone’s mum offering a known kid a lift home!) and rather than fire drills schools enforce lockdowns to respond to gun violence in schools, Lenine Bourke and Darren O’Donnell of Mammalian Diving Reflex in Toronto, Canada began a series of conversations that led to a number of creative explorations on the theme with both artists developing two stand alone works.
A unique opportunity for young people to work as artists to create and share their stories about their home, their favourite places, their everyday activities and their past and future adventures. Born out of the internationally acclaimed Walking Neighbourhood project, Walking Together specifically revels in the freedom of Indigenous community life, which includes vast space to play and groups of children and young people from 5-16 playing together.
A commitment to sharing the act of walking sets up a unique opportunity for young people to act as curators of their community, taking project facilitators, elders and other community members on walks to share their big backyards. These walks reveal a unique world that holds humour, hidden spaces, made up games and community characters. The walks are documented, with a final exhibition featuring content gathered from around the community including short films, audio recordings, hand painted maps, buckets of natural items collected from walks and a map of the town added to by local young people.