Radical Walking

Conference at Institute of Historical Research, London 17th Feb 2017

Last Friday I went to a conference exploring the relationship between walking and radicalism. It was held  at the Institute of Historical Research, Bloomsbury.

The opening keynote lecture was called Politics is Movement by Katrina Navickas. She has been looking at the period 1790 – 1848. Katrina said that processions were politics on the move, and has been investigating the specific routes taken.

Katrina has been looking at the Blanketers, the Chartists, and the northern boycotts of the official 1838 Coronation spectacles (because of the new Poor Law). She spoke about the enclosure of public space today, and how the authorities brutally clamped down on meetings which soon appeared in the newly created Victorian public parks.

The day closed with a talk by David Rosenberg on the struggles of waves of immigrants to London’s East End.

During the day eight papers were presented on a wide range of topics ranging from Margaret Harkness’ Whitechapel to the Situationists and from John Stuart Mill to the Bechdel Test. The concept of the flâneur came up quite a bit, and then started to be challenged by the audience.

This was a very thought provoking day, and I got a lot out of it.

David Rosenberg’s radical East End walks are here.

The exhibition Radical Voices continues at the Senate House Library until 31st March 2017

I sat next to Vivi Lachs who is running a walk around Whitechapel where she will sing Yiddish music hall songs. This starts at 3pm on Sat 4th March outside Aldgate Tube. Vivi sent me these details:

The Yiddish East End – in history and song. A walking tour, Saturday March 4th, 3-5pm
A mixture of history, culture and audience participation. You’ll get to hear about the world of the Yiddish-speaking immigrants from the 1880s, vignettes of their lives, the sweating system, the Aldgate Car, Old Solomon Levy and the Yiddish theatre. You’ll hear songs on Yiddish unionisation, Wentworth Street market and a music-hall rendition of Victoria Park.

£10 (£8) Please book by emailing vivilachs@gmail.com. Meeting point corner of Whitechapel Road and Old Castle Street.