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The Walking Project 

Thank you for walking with us. 

Here you will find some of the texts you heard in the performance with links to their sources.

concept and artistic direction: Jo Parkes, choreographic assistance: Viviana Defazio and Kaveh Ghaemi, created with and performed by: Viviana Defazio, Ziv Frenkel, Toby Foerster, Kaveh Ghaemi, Hannah Pirot, Marcelo Schmittner Daza, Aymara von Borries, Maria Wollney. Audio: Marcelo Schmittner Daza. Costume: Nora Jentzsch.

A co-production with FELD and Mobile Dance.

Supported by  DIEHL+RITTER/TANZPAKT RECONNECT, financed by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as part of the NEUSTART KULTUR Support Program Dance.

The step

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Where does it start? Muscles tense. One leg a pillar, holding the body upright between the earth and sky. The other a pendulum, swinging from behind. Heel touches down. The whole weight of the body rolls forward onto the ball of the foot. The big toe pushes off, and the delicately balanced weight of the body shifts again. The legs reverse position. It starts with a step and then another step and then another that add up like taps on a drum to a rhythm,

the rhythm of walking.

Rebecca Solnit

Wanderlust: A History of Walking

The tree

Since Darwin, we have generally thought of trees as striving, disconnected loners, competing for water, nutrients and sunlight, with the winners shading out the losers and sucking them dry. Survival of the fittest.


There is now a substantial body of scientific evidence that refutes the idea of the striving, competitive tree. It shows instead that trees of the same species are communal, and will often form alliances with trees of other species. Trees have evolved to live in cooperative, interdependent relationships, maintained by communication and a collective intelligence similar to an insect colony. These soaring columns of living wood draw the eye upward to their outspreading crowns, but the real action is taking place underground, just a few inches below our feet.


Trees in forests are connected to each other through underground fungal networks. Trees share water and nutrients through the networks, and also use them to communicate. They send distress signals about drought and disease, for example, or insect attacks, and other trees alter their behavior when they receive these messages.


Richard Grant

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The fairy story

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This is your Project description. Provide a brief summary to help visitors understand the context and background of your work. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start.

Once upon a time, there was a city. And in that city were many streets. Wide streets, narrow streets, long streets, short streets, streets full of cars, streets full of bikes, streets full of people.  They were busy people - the streets were full of movers and shakers, strutters and strivers, striding out, pushing past, barging with wide-elbowed, out-of-my-way haste to get where they needed to be five minutes ago. There were also strollers and meanderers, lovers and watchers, also texters and telephoners. They got in the way. They got overtaken with a hasty sigh. Over time, I am sorry to say, there was pushing and tutting, moaning, complaining and even some (dare I mention it?) shouting. 


One day, the leaders of this city said: “There is an illness coming. Stop your strutting and striving, your promenading, processing and parading, stop your stomping, your dashing and please go home.” 


So those busy people went home. 


And in that city were many empty streets.  Wide streets, narrow streets, long streets, shorts streets, streets with no cars, streets with no bikes, streets with no people. The trees in that city drew a long deep breath and wiggled their roots with contentment. 


And then the leaders of the city said: “You can stroll once a day in the streets near your home. Stay far from the people and the illness will stay at bay.”


And those people crept down the stairs, blinked in the sudden sunlight and began to take careful steps along the streets near their home. When they saw other people coming, they stepped to the side, made the space wide, changed their route, took it slow, anyway no where particular to go. They hovered and hesitated, prevaricated. They waited. They nodded, some smiled. It was good to be outside. 


They walked close to home. Alone. On their own. 


And those close to home walks became hikes up mountains, salty strides across windy beaches, pilgrimages to holy sites. A tree was a forest;  a fountain was a river. The way was narrow but the walk was wide. And when they went back to the start, they had seen the world and were glad to be back home.

Jo Parkes


This is your Project description. Provide a brief summary to help visitors understand the context and background of your work. Click on "Edit Text" or double click on the text box to start.

It is important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is  - or will be - fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and destruction. It is also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better story, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse one. 


Hope locates itself in the understanding that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognise uncertainty, you recognise that you may be able to influence the outcomes – you alone or you in concert with a few dozen  - or several million - others. 


Optimists think it will all be fine without our involvement; 

pessimists adopt the opposite position; both excuse themselves from acting. 


Hope is the belief that what we do matters.  


In the moment of uncertainty, there is hope. When you feel uncertainty there is room to act. 

Rebecca Solnit

Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities

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Recently, the American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez met the environmental activist Geta Thunberg. Two young women in leadership positions on a national or international scale.  Both of them talked about the experience of feeling hopeless at some point in their lives. Ocasio-Cortez described the experience of walking in her first demonstration:


“From there I learned that hope is not something that you have. Hope is something that you create, with your actions. Hope is something you have to manifest into the world, and once one person has hope, it can be contagious. Other people start acting in a way that has more hope.”

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