The first set of Neo-futuristic Walks started in Vilnius and London where an interdisciplinary community of students and other creatives were gathered for four months of city inspections. A series of online/offline workshops enabled to start a dialogue between two contexts and kick off the creative exchange. The virtual dimension, as the space in between, allowed not only to overview the overarching global issues but also to discover the unique qualities of each context.
Topics for workshops and walks:
Walk_01: movement & infrastructure
Walk_02:gleaners & pickers
Walk_03: human encounters
Group walk and ‘’word sculpture’’ writing workshop in Nine Elms with Will Jennings
1: Sitting next to the river that gently ripples on its way from Streatham Hill to the Thames, Gemma thought about the sad changes that were happening to her beloved marshland. The river was dirtier than before. Dust, oil and excrement were creeping onto the streets in a way she’d not seen before
2: They are standing at a crossroad thinking whether to cross the river here, or keep walking along the river bank.
3: Thames River. Empty. Dirt. She looks around and notices a person. They chat for a while.
4: They quickly run past a few strangers, the pace of their walk increases. It smells. The river smells. They want to get home soon.
5: She felt and smelled the river, and the strong smell of timber.
6: Not anyone she knows can swim. She doesn’t know why you’d need to. Maybe it would help if you worked on the river. But definitely not if you’re rich, you’d get someone to swim for you.
7: In the middle of nowhere, they were carefully trying to create a new vegetable. They attached a cutting from a pumpkin to a courgette. Who knows, maybe something will grow out of it.
8: The water was washed. A boat, a small rowing boat, slowly washed towards her. The man onboard called out, and Gemma helped him back onto the shore. He nodded approval, and she walked on.
9: I love the birds on the river. The wildlife around here is always alive with energy. I hope it never changes. It can’t ever change.
1: They are sitting at a table with others writing, as they see a girl with a Pret coffee passing by, overhearing a conversation. The sun comes up and goes, and there are some gusts of wind from time to time.
2: At Vauxhall Bus Station, construction workers keep 2 metres distance. Pigeons. Starbucks. Plastic plants. Grey, red.
3: Alisa walked through St George’s Wharf’s windswept colonnade. That pub, the one with the emanating sound of low-covid relaxation, the one she once had an awful date in. It had been cold and wet, and he was just the worst misogynist ogre. The place, she thought, reminded her of that miserable encounter.
4: It was Friday afternoon, and construction workers were having their beers in this brand new, small, green island of the new development. They looked cosy and communal, just the opposite to the rest of the place.
5: She walked by the embassy. She hated this part of the walk. A gust of strong and cold wind almost blew her hat away.
6: The swimming pool bridge has opened. A bit of green grass has ripped off. There is a constant sound of construction sites, and she was reminded of a place she doesn’t want to come back to.
7: She stood by a giant gold turd. It felt like 2020-21 in just seven words.
8: The St. Michael LT 328 boat. She thought it would be safe to be on that boat, to be safe when London gets flooded.
9: Each time she comes back, something new reveals itself, unpacked, unwrapped. This time it is the restaurants. What will she see, she wondered, when she comes back a later time.
1: She thought what a bizarre situation it would be if Bonnington Square was actually flooded. Then she notices a gardener who goes to trim grass next to Nine Elms, where the squatters live.
2: It’s the Spring Tide today. People are rushing towards a high rise building – the Heavenly Gardens, as they call it. Ksenia is standing on a roof, watching the crowd.
3: And the concierge, an aged man, was trying to sand and clean this oval entrance, now weary and brown from the rain. It used to be white, 80 years ago.
4: She had been reading a history book about what this place had once been like. Apparently the Thames was smaller then, and that tall wall which now blocked her view of that famed river wasn’t there. Now her eye was forced inland, away from the Thames, the distant sounds of weapons reverberating off it softly.
5: This is where the American Embassy used to be. Now it is abandoned and squatted. You can see how nature has overtaken it, there are even deer walking around.
6: Ksenia stood right below the pool. She was waiting for someone to give her some papers, the boss probably forgot there was a pool – she looks up and sees five sets of feet pressed against the crystal clear glass. Weird.
7: What was this? She wondered. Some kind of dark brown, turd-like extrusion. Kids were jumping over it, like an obstacle. The anarchist flags fluttered from balconies. The squats were by now 8 storeys high.
8: Those three chaps had gone, she was alone, listening to the water around her boat. “Will I survive the storm?”, she wondered.
9: Well, here we are. London flooded. Battersea in the sea.
Walk_04: events of togetherness
Alisa, Kamilė. Hybrid walk in two cities: London and Vilnius. Final destinations – event of togetherness – ‘’Walk empty corner”
Recorded in two cities at the same time:
Walks_phase 02: summer inspections in Naujininkai
Link to the full story on city inspections: