October 2016 Blackpool Speakeasy featured image

The Art of Walking: Psychogeography and the Urban Environment

For the third instalment of Blackpool Speakeasy’s series of monthly talks, we screen writer Will Self’s discussion of walking and our relationship with the built environment, followed by an opportunity to explore the ideas and questions raised.

In the talk, Self discusses his own eccentric walking habits – such as walking directly from his home in central London to Heathrow Airport – and argues that they enable him to overcome the primarily disjointed relationship to space which is characteristic of modern society, in which we tend to see our environments as made up of distinct sections, rather than constituting a whole. By walking through neglected areas and amalgamating distinct zones of the city, we can form a clearer and more accurate picture of the world we live in.

Self also points out that we tend to have a correspondingly narrow conception of beauty, missing out on the compelling nature of the in-between spaces in the built environment and coming to appreciate only that which has been marked out in advance as ‘beautiful’. He asserts that by developing an ethic of exploration and more immediate engagement with our surroundings, we can avoid the trap of viewing the bulk of our lives as merely functional. By doing so, we can stop negating our own lived experience, heighten our sense of aesthetic appreciation, and also recognise a wider array of beautiful things.

Event details

The screening takes place from 7pm-8pm on 10th October in the first-floor function room at the historic Raikes Hall pub, Liverpool Road, Blackpool FY1 4HE (map below). The function room is kindly made available to us by the pub and Trust Inns. Alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are available at the bar on the ground floor.