Take a walk on the wild side...of Huddersfield.
If you thought you knew the town’s highways and byways, the fourth World Congress of Psychogeography could prove an eye-opener.
A two day event this month will give you the chance to view the town in new and interesting ways through “psychogeography” - described as a “creative and playful” way of travelling around by foot.
The aim is to explore places using ideas and chance or spur-of-the-moment decisions such as flipping a coin or rolling a dice to decide which way to go.
Huddersfield University’s archive department, Heritage Quay, plays host to the two-day event, which features a mix of walks and talks from experts and amateurs in the field of psychogeography.
David Smith, of Heritage Quay, said the idea for the event came from looking at how even seemingly familiar streets could hide interesting and new things.
The World Congress of Psychogeography – which David admits is a tongue-in-cheek title – takes place on Friday, September 9, and Saturday, September 10.
It starts with the intriguingly entitled Harold Wilson’s Turbo Dérive – a high-speed one-hour walk through the town centre starting at 2pm on Friday from Lord Wilson’s statue in St George’s Square.
Other events on the first day include a Scavenger’s Hunt from 5pm to 7pm following a trail around the university’s Queensgate campus in search of “items and stories, mundane or otherwise” to be exhibited in the “Instant Museum of Curiosities” at Heritage Quay.
Saturday’s events open at 11.30am with a talk entitled What is Psychogeography? That’s followed at noon by a 75-minutes walk called The Northern Powerhouse in a post-Brexit World in which leader Alex Bridger takes a party on a walk around Huddersfield town centre to think about consumerism, surveillance, security and ownership before returning to Heritage Quay to make DIY maps showing exactly where the “power” lies.
Walking over Mines which runs from noon to 2pm on Saturday, is a walk over the labyrinth of coal workings that lie beneath the surface of the town centre. That will be followed at 2pm by Ghost Trails of Diaspora, an insight into the migrant groups that have settled in Huddersfield and their many places of origin.
The Studentification of Urban Space is a talk from 3pm to 4pm at Heritage Quay which looks at the rise of privately-owned student accommodation in university towns and cities with examples from Huddersfield and Leeds.
And for the truly adventurous, Getting Lost on Purpose is a walk that begins at 4pm from Heritage Quays and finishes... who knows where? Participants will make their own unconventional rules and methods for walking – such as flipping a coin or throwing a dice to decide whether to go left or right.
David said: “Psychogeography aims to put a different perspective on the world around us. It’s a world we think we know well, but psychogeography involves looking at familiar things in a different way which makes you think.”
For a full list of walks and talks and details on the speakers and walk leaders, go to www.41cop.org . Booking in advance is required for some events.