The conference as a whole, which takes place across three cities in Catalonia, is titled "Walking Art and Relational Geographies." We confess that we don't fully understand what that means, but to the conference participants, it seems that walking is much more than exercise or relaxation or mind-clearing or getting from here to there. It's "an urgent and necessary perspective through which to look, analyse and understand the contemporary world."
Indeed, that's what the book Ways of Walking conveys: reflections by 26 different authors on the deeper meaning of moving the feet. Imagining a walk from Vermont to New York City, contributor Mark Geanuleas writes, "Between here and there everything is more important than you, everything must be faced, no mile, no mosquito, no neighborhood can be avoided." As a result, he contends, the self that arrives in New York is "founded upon the world," whereas, for someone who drives or takes a train, the world is founded upon the self.
That's deep. To get a taste of what such thoughtful walkers are meditating about, you can register for the online cafe talk here. And to read more about the entire conference, go here.