The Loiterers Resistance Movement

2020 Walking Alone Together April's First Sunday


Dear friends, loiterers and fellow wanderers
I hope this finds you as OK as anyone can be in these difficult and troubling times.
As you know The LRM gather on the First Sunday of every month to walk creatively together, make connections, engage with our environment and ask some difficult questions about public space. Our community has always been disparate, diverse and constantly evolving and so we want to carry on walking together in new, different ways. As we’ve said so often before simply walking together shouldn’t be radical and it isn’t ever enough but it’s something and to get through this crisis we will need imagination, empathy and most of all each other.
Obviously we can not carry on as normal (I have always hated that word, that concept but suddenly it becomes useful). Searching for a way to walk alone, together, I’ve been talking to my friend and fellow walking artist Blake Morris. Last week we walked together on his sunrise walks and now we’re going to join his project 52 scores where he follows a weekly walking score made of scraps of paper The full score won’t be revealed until tomorrow – Saturday – so check the link above and we will also post it here too.
Here’s how to walk with us: At 2pm BST Sunday 5th April I will be at home in Manchester and will begin a walk guided by Blake’s score. He will be doing the same in Northampton and we invite you to join us wherever you are. Although I haven’t seen it all yet I know the first line of the script and I hope you will forgive the spoiler its “A Walk Round The Block.” You can interpret this however you desire – that block could be your bed or sofa or portion of street or a location on google earth, whatever is most appealing and appropriate to you (see the very important points below)
We hope you will check in and connect with us as you wander. Blake and I will be walking together, alone, on whatsapp and to join our walk in progress chat please send me your number in advance (by noon on Sunday please) so I can add you to the conversation. My number is 079 749 29589 You can also share your walk by twitter (please @thelrm or add # loiter) or on facebook (the group is The Loiterers Resistance Movement) or email but obviously responses to these methods will be asynchronous.

Of course you can just loiter in secret but we really would love to know if you are with us. I anticipate the walk will last approximately an hour but as ever the pace and duration will be decided collectively. (Hopefully at least one of these technologies works for you, any suggestions to improve access would be most welcome as this is not my strong point. We will also be launching a psychogeographical postcard project very soon to overcome a reliance on screens). This First Sunday is an experiment, well even more experimental than usual, so please be patient if there are wobbles and missed connections, we are all doing the best we can
A few very important points
Please remember to keep safe and follow the latest reliable health information re Covid-19. Local circumstances may differ so please check your latest advice, In the UK at the moment guidance states as long as you are well it is perfectly fine to go for a walk (irebranded as your daily permissible exercise) but you must maintain social distancing rules. This means going alone – we are all quasi-flaneurs now – apart from members of your household. You must maintain 2 metres / 6 foot distance from anyone else so please be extra considerate and alert to other people and the need to share space. Wash your hands thoroughly, carefully, properly afterwards and be very mindful of touching surfaces when out and about. You may wish to wear a mask and gloves.
If you, or any of your household, are shielding, self isolating, in quarantine or have any symptoms of COVID-19 DO NOT leave your sanctuary. This derive can be conducted indoors, in dreamspace or online; whichever is safest, most appropriate and appealing to you. We welcome anyone, anywhere who is respectful of others, but this is not the time to take risks. (We fully appreciate the need to mindful of emerging civil liberty issues and will doubtless focus on these at a future date but that challenge is not for The LRM right now.)
We are loiterers and this has always implied a critique of speed, ruthless efficiency and the seemingly endless urge to be productive despite the background hum of anxiety. If you don’t fancy wandering on Sunday be assured, this invitation is an open one for whenever you feel able. We applaud rest and self-care. Concerns about the demise and relevance of psychogeography have been confounded once again by the pandemic. Much attention is being given to hyper-local, super attentive walking, powerlines are being uncovered, disrupted, public space is being reconfigured, the everyday is transformed and the world is turned upside down. I should probably be rush writing a crass academic hot take on this but I can’t, won’t, whilst my heart aches
The LRM still firmly believe that “The Streets Belong to Everyone” although we can’t share them physically right now. Our withdrawal is an act of care and communality so please do not be an arse on Sunday or any day. We send love and strength to everybody who is working outside caring, caretaking, providing for us and doing other essential work, I know this includes many excellent loiterers. Thank you. Those of us able to do so fully recognise our privilege in being able to make a tactical retreat inside.
I hope to see you on the streets again sometime soon, and in the meantime please feel free to get in touch with questions, comments or if you just fancy a blether. If you have any suggestions for next months First Sunday also please do holler, you can find me by any of the methods above and in the meanting I’ll be sharing various psychogeographical resources so please do keep in touch.
With love, solidarity and golden apples
Morag xx

You might also find these excellent folk worth spending some time with:
The Walking Artists Network Jiscmail list have been sharing various creative walking ideas
Phil Smiths words are as pertinent and inspiring as ever
We Shall Overcome have organised a fantastic virtual festival next Saturday

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