Women Who Walk (BBC Radio 4)

Throughout 2018, Dr Jo Norcup has been working with Michael Umney of Resonance FM Productions in turning a programme pitch based on the three ‘Er Outdoors programmes originally made and broadcast on Resonance FM (2016-2017) into a 27 minute programme for BBC Radio 4.

The programme will be broadcast on the 8th October 2018 on BBC Radio 4 and narrated by the celebrated actor, writer and performer Doon Mackichan.

You will be able to listen to this online and after it is broadcast here

We have been thrilled to undertake this pioneering radio programme. It gives airtime  to the vibrant and vital voices of Walking Women Artists from the UK and beyond.  While it is only a small taster of the wealth of work women walking artists have been undertaking over the decades and continue to make, practise, and perform; we hope the programme invites listeners to be more capacious in how they understand and think about walking and performance art, and that it will encourage listeners to explore the rich diversity of practitioners and performers whose art challenges and makes complex presumptions and assumptions about landscapes, people and places, and the power relations therein.

It was difficult to narrow down who to include in this one-off programme, and the priority was to enfold as many artists who were involved in the original Resonance FM series by way of acknowledging their contribution at the early stages of this radio work, either by interviewing them within the programme or else name-checking their work within the interviews themselves. As such, this one programme is not intended in any way as a complete or expansive representation. We hope that the broad discussions about women walking artists serve to introduce key ideas for an accessible and broad listening audience, while piquing interest in finding out more about the wider walking artists networks that exist nationally and internationally. There are programmes needing to be made that absolutely must engage with people of colour walking artists, with walking artists who engage with themes of ableism, sexualities, ageism, class, economics, across a range of scales and landscapes, histories and heritages, whose work considers the intersections and the discreet differences, challenges, and insights such works enable. We would like to make more programmes because we loved listening to the artists talking about their work, and we hope you do too.

We also hope the broadcast will encourage listeners to get out and move (however that movement comes), to get happy, active, and connect with the landscape, to find out more about the histories, geographies, cultures, people, animals, plants, and power relations that go to enrich (or not) our respective daily lives. To listen and learn, to exchange stories about how we all experience the world differently to have ongoing conversations and dialogues in how we have power and agency in making our everyday landscapes and challenging and changing myopic or reductive perspectives, and to encourage all to experience the vibrancy that art and walking artists bring to ways of seeing, thinking and being in landscapes.

Below are a list of further readings, links to sites and suggested teaching resources / activities. This gives a starting point to anyone wishing to find out more, and for educators across a range of (non)institutional spaces to gather resources and shape new materials for their curricula.  Enjoy.


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