JANE'S WALK COLCHESTER
Covid-19 rudely interrupted plans for our 10th anniversary Jane's Walk festival in 2020, but at the same time rarely before has there been a more interesting or pressing moment to reflect on the public and private spaces around us and our changing use of them.
Our plans for Jane's Walk 2021
I'm pleased to say we hope to return to a real, outdoor festival, just a little later on (July or August), once we are able to walk in larger groups again, and feel more comfortable doing so. We will keep this page posted.
We are the first week in May instead with two great evening events (via zoom). Local artists Charles Debenham and Nicola Burrell will take us virtual walks around Colchester, via the medium of their paintings and drawings. In both cases, their prolific work, which observes the ordinary, working life of Colchester's streets and buildings, resonates strongly with the kind of everyday detail Jane Jacobs also observed and commented upon.
Although the events will be free, they will be bookable and we will send out links soon. For now, please make a note of these dates in your diary...
1. Saturday 1st May, A virtual walk and talk around town with artist Charles Debenham
2. Monday 3rd May, A virtual walk and talk around town with artist Nicola Burrell
I really hope this will bring us some of the pleasure of getting together in May, whilst still allowing us to look forward to a version of the real thing later in the summer.
For those new to Jane's Walk...
An international weekend of local walks led by local people on local themes (‘citizen-led, walking conversations’), taking place in towns and cities around the world, honouring the legacy of the urbanist, writer and activist, Jane Jacobs (1916-2006), and marking the anniversary of her birth.
Check out the Jane's Walk Colchester 2019 festival programme, which included 27 walks, 3 films and 1 street photography exhibition:
The festival programme 2019
About Jane Jacobs, the festival namesake
New York Times Obituary - Douglas Martin, April 25th 2006 [NYT Online]
Guardian Obituary - Veronica Horwell, April 28th 2006 [Guardian Online]
Vital Little Plans review – why the ideas of Jane Jacobs are still vital. Chris Hall 2017 [The Guardian Online]
"You've got to get out and walk!" Jane Jacobs
About Jane's Walk Colchester
Jane's Walk was established in 2007 in Toronto, Jane Jacobs’s home for her last 40 years. Jacobs was writing and speaking right up until her death aged 89 in 2006, and was a well-known and much-loved public figure. Walking as a vehicle for understanding place, alongside discourse and civic engagement, were dominant lifelong themes in her work. Hence 'Jane’s Walk', the creation of Jacobs's many friends and colleagues: a weekend festival of walking established to commemorate her life.
By the time of Jacobs’s death however, her ideas and influence already extended worldwide, and Jane’s Walk too went rapidly global. In 2016, a decade after its inception in Toronto, over 1,000 Jane's Walks took place in 212 cities, in 36 countries, across 6 continents.
Colchester held its first Jane’s Walk festival in 2011, and is proud to have been the UK’s first Jane’s Walk town. Over the years since, it has reached a further 13 UK towns and cities, including London, Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Coventry and Belfast.
Images from former Jane's Walk years in Colchester (click arrows left/right to scroll)
"Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because,
and only when, they are created by everybody" Jane Jacobs
Walk Colchester is grateful to the following for their support of Jane’s Walk Colchester 2019:
To Colchester Arts Centre and Active Essex for their sponsorship
To Firstsite Gallery, The Minories (Colchester Institute) and CODA Jazz Bar for their in-kind support. Jane's Walk is also a Livewell partner.
To Marc De’ath, Caroline Rhys Lewis, the East of England Co-op, Good Souls Bakes, Unique Bakes, Flavour Room and Food Without Fuss for their support of our fundraising supper 2019; and to our team of volunteers and walk leaders who give their time, knowledge and skills freely in support of this fantastic event.