Walkism: Jozi Walks

On the 17th of October 2020, The Trinity Session hosted a Jozi Walk in collaboration with Dr Myer Taub, a theatre maker and academic from Orange Grove, and three local artists from the #ArtMyJozi Orange Grove community; Lawrence Mandla Hlatshwayo, Lazarous Mpala, and Phahlo Mtangai. 

The walk was centred around the theme of Walkism, a theory developed by Dr Taub, who chooses to walk around the city of Johannesburg instead of driving. Walkism is an embodiment of Dr Taub’s sincere ideas about walking and the collaboration with other entities invested in place and making. Walkism is not an end point, but a process. 

This was complimented by activations by the local artists. Lazarous Mpala lead the group through a Tai Chi inspired exercise, where we had to slow down our walking and move with grace, to ‘walk like water’ along the Celebration Pond in Paterson Park.

While ‘walking like water’, we overheard the sound of drums in the distance. This led us to a drumming circle at the carved benches.
Lawrence Hlatshwayo asked the walkers to listen to the beat of their heart and then play this beat on a drum, this process built up to a collective rhythm and beat as Hlatshwayo led us through a drumming circle. This beat in turn became the heartbeat of the Rhino, who appeared from behind the bushes nearby.

Phahlo Mtangai, a performer and puppeteer, regaled us with a story about a rhino who wished he could fly, and the birds who wished they could walk. This story was told using a rhino puppet head, and handmade finger puppets of birds. Each walker was given a finger puppet, and they joined in at the end of the story to help the rhino fly.

Walkism also touched on the history of Paterson Park and the greater Orange Grove area, the natural and built environment, and of course the #ArtMyJozi Artworks programme.