Walking Our Way Here

Convenors: Jenn Cole, Natalie Rewa and Keren Zaiontz

(from the original call for papers)

The Walking Our Way Here seminar engages in ambling practices that re-and de-familiarize conference city sites. “Walking” (which includes striders, strollers, scooters, and more) allows us to do the embodied work of theatrical exploration: it is how we understand where we are. In the context of CATR 2018, when we walk Kingston, we might walk Katarokwi, the Swamp Ward (if we cross Princess), CFB Kingston (if we cross the Causeway), the former Kingston Penitentiary (if we pay tourist dollars), and/or the Stones archival site for traces of sedimented populations in the city ( to name but a few sites. This is our fieldwork.

In recent years, CATR has hosted praxis sessions around walking as a mode of exploring performance and the location of the conference city. In 2015, the ‘Capital Wayfaring’ praxis group travelled the city at the University of Ottawa’s edges, critically engaging ideas of nationhood through performative modes of address. Members of the group also participated in the TRC walk for reconciliation, which timed with Congress. As part of CATR 2017 in Toronto, many of the same people, and more, took part in an Indigenous history walk with embodied performance interventions around the U of T campus, led by Jill Carter and Jon Johnson of First Story Toronto. As we retraced buried waterways and buried stories in the city, our group (re)settled and (un)settleds into the space of Toronto, familiar in new ways to us that resonated throughout the rest of the conference. We continue a performative walking practice already taking place at CATR gatherings with renewed focus and reflection as walkers in Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee territory, where Queens is situated.

You may apply as a performer, a solo walker, or an active listener.

We ask performance applicants to offer a five-minute performance act (loosely defined) and an ideal site for us to engage your performance, which will help us begin to collectively remap the city of Kingston through embodied collective mobility (downtown, on or near campus, along the shoreline, etc. are all possibilities. Please be as specific as possible. Offering a second-choice site would be helpful). We will map our route based on your proposals. After walking together, we will meet to discuss our experience and findings in a two-hour seminar.

If you would like to participate in the walks without performing, you may apply to “walk and study” as an active listener. Please propose what this role will entail for you. Active note-taking, recorded voice narration of the walk, photo-documentation – what will your active listening look like?

You may also apply to conduct a solitary walk, and to return to the collective during the seminar. Please indicate where you plan to walk and what questions condition your walking alone. If you would like to walk solo, and to have a location assigned to you, please let us know.