Extract from Sybrig Dokter's research:
Quest for an archive
As I was getting a bit stuck in deciding which archive I would want to work from, I started with something that has been lying around for some years now. In the 80ties my partner and me were hiking along the Alte Via 5 in the Dolomites. Between Rifugio Bajon and Bivacco Musatti we lost the path and got ourselves on a ridge with a considerable drop underneath us, just holding on with our fingertips. We weren’t able to go up and certainly not down. We easily could have fallen, or frozen into inaction. Somehow we maneuvered ourselves to a ledge that was a bit wider and where from we had the possibility to move up again to where, in the end, we did find the marked path.
We took photos from each-other on the other side of the pass when we knew we were safe. So I took the map and the photos in an attempt to make sense of that feeling. To cut through the time that passed and look into that memory.
It didn’t lead me to choosing it as an archive but the thought of travel and displacement brought me to the action of walking and walks.
‘The walk’ as an archive.
In a project that I initiated and that took place in Minsk (www.lavadans.com) I invited people that lived in a certain neighborhood, to take me for a walk in what they considered to be their neighborhood and talk to me about their memories and thoughts while we were walking. We left traces while we were retracing their past and memories. It created a multi-layered narrative from different angles.
At this moment it is still unclear to me how to let the experience of walking spill out from my own references and have it latch on to or be taken over by other narratives.
I will start by walking.
I have thought about walking as moving from point to point: the repetitiveness; what it feels like in the body; what surroundings one walks in; various types of hikes. The long one, the everyday one, the special one that needs preparations, the one in solitude and the one with others. To leave and to return. Exertion, wounds, sore muscles. Rooting and up-rooting.
Walking as leisure or walking because you must.