Six Walks

with Idil Ali, Timmah Ball, Tony Birch, Sophie Cunningham, Eleanor Jackson and Christos Tsiolkas

Six Walks is a series of audio walking tours, commissioned by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in 2020, and released in the lead-up to the exhibition and research project Who’s Afraid of Public Space?

Continuing a rich history of artists, writers and thinkers engaging with, describing and depicting the various pleasures of walking, Six Walks began as an invitation to six Melbourne-based writers to develop a narrative response to an area of the city that held a particular interest to them either personally or professionally, socially or culturally. Largely written while under strict COVID-related lockdowns – at a time when walking was one of few freedoms afforded to those of us in Melbourne – Six Walks has been timed to release with the easing of these restrictions, allowing for expanded horizons and encouraging a renewed interest in our surrounding natural and urban environments and to the narratives, knowledge and histories latent within them.

Across Six Walks writers Idil Ali, Timmah Ball, Tony Birch, Sophie Cunningham, Eleanor Jackson and Christos Tsiolkas take us from the Birrarung to Royal Park, from regal cinemas to abandoned military defence force bases, tracing desire lines as much as designated paths. They tackle concerns from public housing to motherhood, colonisation, migration, gentrification, restoration, surveillance, resilience, leisure and pleasure. In following their words, walking becomes a form not only of art and literature, but of thinking, observing, research, remembering, poetry, protest, mapping and making. What is revealed is a complex portrait of Melbourne as a city that is constructed from diverse, diverging and overlapping cultural, social, political, economic and historical paths.

Access Information:

Six Walks has been conceived to be ideally listened to in situ, with headphones on a personal mobile device. Maps, directions and access notes are included with each walk to assist with orientation. ACCA reminds participants to be aware of their surroundings and to adhere to road safety guidelines at all times. Please note that when undertaking a walk, participants must assume personal responsibility for any liability, injury, loss, or damage in any way connected with their experience of Six Walks.

Recorded in a podcast format, Six Walks can also be listened to from anywhere and at any time.

Text versions of each walk will be available for download.

ACCA acknowledges the support of Creative Victoria in the development of the Six Walks series.

Six Walks:

Tony Birch on the Birrarung

Sophie Cunningham on Royal Park

Eleanor Jackson on art, motherhood and taking up space in the Melbourne Arts Precinct

Idil Ali on the Carlton Housing Estate

Timmah Ball on exploding the Maribyrnong

Christos Tsiolkas on silver screens 

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