Inspired by Patrick Keiller's The Robinson Institute, currently on show at the Tate Britain, we present Verso's guide to political walking. We also draw influence from Will Self's Guardian article in which he pronounces that "walking is political" and suggests that the "contemporary flâneur" can be one "who seeks equality of access, freedom of movement and the dissolution of corporate and state control."
1. Wanderlust - Rebecca Solnit
The first general history of walking, Rebecca Solnit's book finds a profound relationship between walking and thinking, walking and culture, and argues for the necessity of preserving the time and space in which to walk in an ever more automobile-dependent and accelerated world.
2. Savage Messiah - Laura Oldfield Ford
Savage Messiah collects Laura Oldfield Ford's black and white, cut 'n' paste, punk fanzines that document her drift through London's margins. Illustrated with haunting line drawings of forgotten people and places, Oldfield Ford records the beauty and anger at the city's edges.
The acclaimed artist Laura Oldfield Ford, author of Savage Messiah, is currently exhibiting a selection of her works at Hales Gallery. Transmissions from a Discarded Future collects images of "confrontational billboards, tender portraits and maps of riot torn postcodes," forming "an unfinished collage where the hidden narratives of the city are made fleetingly visible." Ford invites the visitors to explore "London's large abandoned housing estates," inhabited by
ghosts of brutalist architecture, 90s convoy culture, rave scenes, 80s political movements and a virulent black economy of scavengers, peddlers and shoplifters.