The Walking Neighbourhood has a simple premise: children companion audience members on curated tours around a specific part of a city, community, venue or site. This is a new way to see and experience places, spaces and buildings in public and private. Children are in control of developing the artistic experience, guiding an audience, navigating the physical space and sharing their experiences of autonomy all the while creating new friendships with people they do not know.
2 professional artists work with locally identified children aged 8-13 either through a school or broader community engagement in 6-10 workshops. During this time the children are walking, mapping, exploring and researching locally, while interviewing people, shop keepers, icons and neighbourhood notoriety. Up to 15 volunteers are engaged to support the children in developing this intimate and life changing event as almost personalised stage managers.
These children will use their instincts to locate danger, excitement, adventure and safety and the audience will be invited to relax and trust their young guides. These walks will be varied in time and pace and all tour to different destinations. Leaving from an interactive Departure Lounge, the chaos will be soothed by the very act of walking with people you do not know to a place you have never experienced like this before.
Initiated in Brisbane, the show has also found life in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Bagot, Darwin. You can read all about the project and how it evolved in different areas.