Circle of Friends Go Walking

Circle of Friends Go Walking was a collaboration between Jean McEwan and Blackburn Circle of Friends group, commissioned by arts programme Super Slow Way as one of their first community residencies. Together Jean and the group explored playful, creative ways of walking, wandering and wondering, in Blackburn and beyond.

During the walks with Jean, the group had conversations, recorded sounds, took photographs and collected found objects as a means of collecting and curating emotions, memories and to develop a sense of place. The group created zines (DIY magazines) as a way of recording its explorations.

The group had been running for 18 years, with many of the current members having attended for years, some since the beginning. Jean said: “We spent a session with the group making personal maps of walks significant to them personally, and now we are in the process of going on these walks together, with each person leading on their own walk.

Kavita lead the first walk, to Corporation Park, where she has happy memories of walking in the summer with her boyfriend. People took photos, recorded sounds, took notes, followed paths and told local history and personal stories. Afterwards, some of the group collected research and did some writing about the experience. We decided that it would be interesting to make a ‘zine (a handmade magazine) containing everyone’s experiences and reflections of the walk – as a kind of alternative guide.“

Watch a video about the project here

Find out more about the project on the Super Slow Way website

Read more about Jean’s approach to the working with the group here

Circle of Friends Go Walking Zine