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Spaces to play
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An interview with Lottie Child, a self-styled participatory performance artist who has devised “Street Training”, in which adults and young people learn how to be more playful in our streets. Through Street Training participants, young and old, learn how to let go of the social mores, testing the confines of what is considered normal behaviour in our cities and streets.
Lottie releases the inner child in adults while building confidence of young people, through a playful ‘training course’ in which participants undertake circuits of features in the built environment around us. You don’t have to be athletic or at all sporty, and even if you feel unfit or lacking the right sporty kit, that won’t deter you on one of Lottie’s Street Training circuits.
There is a lot of thought and theory about how we behave as individuals in the streets of our cities - how we self-police ourselves and how we react to each other. We adopt certain conventions and social mores. But how is it asks Lottie, that what she does wearing a dress and behaving in a demure gentle feminine way is seen as ‘acceptable’, perhaps a little eccentric, almost whimsical, an wins her an international artist’s award, while for others of different colour and dress, is sufficient to warrant an anti-social behaviour order?
Lottie has helped the Metropolitan Police, amongst others, to have a better understanding of young people’s desire to play. She’s taken the “tick box” out of community engagement, winning over the bored and officious, amongst the Met’s officers, letting them be led blind by young people, rediscovering their human gentleness and developing trust and a better understanding of young people’s naturally inquisitive behaviour.
Fancy trying a bit of “Street training” on your own, then Lottie recommends riding the hand rail up the escalator at Liverpool Street tube station in the City of London.
Talking Walking is Britain’s leading walking podcast website, with more than 45 recorded interviews since 2008 - each interview is recorded and produced by Andrew Stuck from Rethinking Cities Ltd. in London.
Date added: 16 March 2014
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