18 files

(Dis)enchanted Walking - Sweet Waters: Live Phase. Materials and documentation. A selection of media from the live walking phase of the project.

posted on 2021-03-24, 18:31 authored by Richard S. White

Two public walking arts projects, Honouring Esther and Sweet Waters, developing a critical walking arts and media practice bringing past injustices into present consciousness generating contemporary social justice resonances.The live work offers an iteration of walking-with (Sundberg 2014) as a non-confrontational approach attending to obscured and reluctant heritage (Tomory 1997).

This item contains documentation of the following:

SWEET WATERS 2016-17: sense-ing legacies of slave-ownership in Bath and along the River Avon

Aims to develop an iteration of walking-with method as a non-confrontational approach attending to obscured and ‘reluctant heritage’ (Tomory 1997), extending techniques of spatial/temporal layering and folding as dissonant stimuli, generating social justice resonances.

This item: images show smart phone and note book use following a sensory attunement, playback of sounds, or a performative provocation and quiet reflection and discussion. The walks were punctuated with such curated interventions, walkers were invited to reflect and discuss and then add comments, thoughts and responses in a shared notebook. The notebooks were circulated between each walk and sometime during the walk. Walkers were also invited to share responses using social media. These contributions formed a social media trail as part of the extended phase of the project. In addition, marketing and intervention materials are presented here including the imagined gentleman's calling card presented as part of a performative intervention at each former slave-owner's residence visited in Bath.

Project Outline: Developed over an 18 month period involving over 50 walkers and many hundreds online, Sweet Waters was part of Richard White’s ongoing investigation of walking arts as social justice intervention, developing tactics for articulating and materialising corporeal experience and affective resonance. The project resonates with UNESCO World Heritage programmes, specifically attending to legacies of slave-ownership. The project was commissioned for Bath Festival Fringe, funded by Arts Council England with support from Bath Spa University, Festival of Nature and Fringe Arts Bath. An installation at a heritage site followed as part of Museums Week and Journey to Justice Bristol. Participation was extended using social media with trails generated live and aggregated. Referencing body fluids and the memory of water folded in an understanding of the water cycle, the project generates insights and observations on volatile and porous bodies (Longhurst 2001), the power of things and memory making practices (Micieli-Voutsinas 2016; Bennett 2010).


Aggregated Social media trail via Social Hiking

Vimeo folder:


Arts Council of England (Bath Festival Fringe commission)

Bath Spa University