Streetwalking

a walking women’s manifesto

created by participants at the POW! Thanet festival, 17th March 2019

provocations

We should feel entitled to our own space. We should be walking to ‘look’, not to be looked at. We should walk in our own footsteps and not follow others. We have as much right to take up space as anyone else. (If 17% of the crowd are women, everyone thinks there are as many women as men!)

actions

Take back the joy of walking for its own sake. Be proud – claim the space. Be brave. Be bold. Walk where you want to. Be daring in your gaze. Look at other women. Love people-watching. Smile and say hello to people. You’ll be surprised. Walk smiling. Walk frowning. Walk alone and uninhibited. Walk in new places, exploring. Be a child when walking, totally absorbed in the environment, not caring what others think. Walk happily, free of glancing at a mobile phone. Always night walk at the full moon. Banish the thought of being murdered as you walk. If you don’t want to walk alone, get a dog or borrow one. Do not follow someone else’s footsteps. Follow your own path to create your own dreams, not someone else’s. Walk through life and try to find the strength to share.

needs

Empathy for women’s spaces. Public design of space, managing pavements, restricting cars. No parking on pavements. No racing towards zebra and pelican crossings when someone is crossing. Respect for pedestrians. Better pavement surfaces. Better street lighting. Protection of public toilets to enjoy walking.

wishes

For street homeless women to be safe. To make the environment shine for all women walkers, including those for whom walking is too often imposed.

Texts for a feminist survival kit

readings from the walk & recommendations from participants

  • Ahmed, Sara. Living a Feminist Life
  • Angelou, Maya. I Rise
  • Bronte, Charlotte. Jane Eyre
  • Burns, Anna. Milkman
  • Carter, Angela. Wise Children
  • Elkin, Lauren. Flâneuse
  • Fey, Tina. Bossypants
  • Rhys, Jean. Quartet and After Leaving Mr Mackenzie
  • Rich, Adrienne. ‘When We Dead Awaken’
  • Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust
  • Wesley, Mary. The Camomile Lawn
  • Woolf, Virginia. Mrs Dalloway

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Walking events, March 2019

Streetwalking  public walk and research event – tickets available!

Margate, Kent: 17th March 2019
What does literature have to say about women walking in public spaces? 
An interactive walk with texts that encourages women to take up public space and reflect on walking the streets.
created for POW!Thanet Festival

International Women’s Day  synchronised walk

8th March 2019
Women Who Walk Network synchronised solidarity walk. Join in wherever you are: http://women-who-walk.org/walk-in-solidarity-on-8th-march/ 
In collaboration with POW!Thanet Festival
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Kent Festival of Writing – Writers’ Circuits workshop

Join Sonia for a serious writing workout at the Kent Festival of Writing…

When: 10.00-11.00 on Saturday 13th April 2019.

What: Writers’ Circuits – a series of 10 minute idea-generating exercises. Intensive writing against the clock using prompts and some lateral thinking. Fill your notebook with ideas for development into your chosen form.

Where: Kent Festival of Writing, Whitstable, UK.

Part of a day of writing workshops, talks and events. Book tickets through the festival website.

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writers’ coffee morning & workshop

coffee_cup_saucerSunday 24th April 10.30am
The Beaney House of Art & Knowledge, Canterbury

meet in the Beaney café

Informal workshop and meet-the-artist opportunity as part of my residency, writing in response to objects in the Beaney collections. Find out about the items that have inspired me and try some writing exercises in the museum. Suitable for all abilities. Bring a notebook and pen. 
 
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