A two hour ‘pyschogeographic’ walk around the West Yorkshire town of Huddersfield, timed to coincide the winter solstice, will offer the perfect antidote to canned music and Christmas shopping. For anyone unfamiliar with psychogeography, the walk will draw on the figure of the flâneur, a city stroller, and the practice of the dérive (otherwise known as the drift or wander), an alternative way of experiencing place and everyday environments. The dérive is associated with the Situationists, a radical group of activists, artists, writers and intellectuals based mainly in Paris in the mid-20th Century, whose ideas continue to resonate today among geographers, artists, architects, town planners and others interested in public space and access to cities. The Huddersfield Psychogeography Network, which is initiating the Huddersfield dérive, brings together artists, academics, activists and anyone else who is interested, using the concept of ‘psychogeography’ to talk about urban and rural environments. Participants are encouraged to bring dice, maps, cameras, notepads or any other useful equipment – as well as, of course, winter hats and gloves! The dérive will eventually drift towards a cafe or pub, providing a welcome chance to warm up as well as exchange thoughts on the town and its rich mixture of grand Victorian buildings – including shopping arcades that would delight Walter Benjamin, the original flâneur – and more modern architecture.

Fri 21 Dec, Meet at Huddersfield Railway Station, St Georges Square, Huddersfield, HD1 1JA, 10.45am, FREE, www.facebook.com

Fri 21 Dec
Natalie Bradbury
Published on:
Mon 17 Dec 2012