call to the artistic and research symposium

Jun. 15, 2023
21 Vitebsko gatvė, Vilnius, Lithuania

The current ecological and migration crises, the post-pandemic situation and new forms of virtual coexistence, growing cities and new urban planning solutions, which change our daily trajectories or restrict natural human movement altogether – all this sets the context for the growing artistic and scholarly interest in walking and its meaning in our lives, communities and societies.

The title of the symposium refers to the eponymous song “Walking is still honest” by the punk rock band “Against me!”. Laura Jane Grace, its lead singer, has said in an interview that she wrote the song when she was 18 years old, terrified of what was happening in the world, and that the only thing that seemed real and honest to her at the time was the simple act of walking. In this symposium, we invite you to remember this insight and try to convey the sincerity of real or imaginary walking through a variety of practices, methods, actions, groups, communities, stories, etc. of being and walking together. Perhaps this may be a key to different, universal forms of being together that are resistant to time, identity, generations, virtuality, urban and other problems?

Organized by the Vilnius Academy of Arts, the cultural centre SODAS 2123 and the Lithuanian Interdisciplinary Artists’ Association (LTMKS), the symposium aims to bring the insights of some of the most important contemporary historians and theoreticians of psychogeography and walking of the last few decades into dynamic practices of contemporary art and culture – about and through walking. “Walking is still honest*: about being and moving together“ aims to bring together practitioners and researchers in order to create a dynamic space and an opportunity to be together, or to be in a community. Using artistic and research tools we will explore, open up, justify and consolidate insights into walking as a method of creation, thinking, being together, education and place research. We will also discuss, when walking is a pleasure, vocation or mission, when it is a necessity or even a compulsion; how

contemporary urban policies encourage, limit, suppress, or commodify walking; how walking and its meaning have changed historically; what neurotechnological tools tell us about the physiology and psychology of walking today.

The symposium is open to artists, urban planners, art historians, cultural historians, philosophers, historians, sociologists, neuroscientists and other researchers who are interested in the act of walking, its various forms and cultural meanings, and the history, present and future of walking.

We call for contributions on (but not limited to) the following topics:

– Forms of walking/walking together in contemporary art, cinema, theatre, dance, music, etc.

– Walking together as a philosophical concept and way of thinking.

– Walking in the urban landscape.

– Walking as a way of building community.

– The politics and economics of walking.

– Walking as a vocation, a way of life, a necessity, a protest: nomads, pilgrims, migrants and other walkers.

– The physiology and psychology of walking: effects on the body, brain, well-being, etc.

Location: SODAS 2123, Vilnius Academy of Arts and various locations in the city, Vilnius, Lithuania.

Dates & Deadlines: Symposium Oct 5–7th, 2023 onsite in Vilnius.

Call for Contributions deadline June 15th, 2023, notification of acceptance no later than June 30th.

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