walking, writing practice, socially engaged

The Book Of Visions project takes its name from a nearly lost 1973 publication of the same name, which collected around 300 responses to a callout for ‘ideas for an alternative society’, gathered under headings like education, housing, ecology, alternative technology, the arts etc. In working with this manuscript, the question arose: WHAT WOULD A NEW BOOK OF VISIONS LOOK LIKE?

“In April 2020, I was about to set out on a 220 mile walk on foot, collecting and sharing acts towards and visions of a positive future society. In the deep uncertainty of the ongoing present, I have found myself, like many others, embarking on unexpected inner trajectories. As time went by, I began to wonder how to hold space equally not just for positive futures and collective yearning, but also for the grief and trauma of our entangled realities, and for that which does not make sense right now. With these shifts has come the need to examine the original proposal in the light of a raft of more destabilizing questions: What does a positive future look like right now? Is it possible to be visionary in the face of such uncertainty? Are there practices or ways of being that might be useful in order to live well with insecurity and precarity? Might we in fact need to look towards new educators such as those humans whose lives have always been under the shadows of poverty, ill health, racism, disability and statelessness; or those beings on different rungs of food chains? Can the walk be re-purposed as a way to seek out these educators and draw them together? The Book Of Visions is a framing for the work of collectively addressing these questions – a living publication, an evolving handbook for staying with the trouble of our times, a pilgrim space of fugitivity and sanctuary.”

The route of the pilgrimage is the Old Way, a Mediaeval route for European pilgrims which runs from Southampton to Canterbury, recently re-imagined by the British Pilgrimage Trust. The walking will be completed in April 2022. The project has a dedicated website and a piece of writing on the first part of the walk was recently commissioned by Dark Mountain, which can be read here

Design work by David Hand (Instagram @fasterthanagallpoinghorse).