Wetlands: Watery walk and collective climate fictions

led by Neo-Futurisitic walks and Laura Copsey

Beginning on the shores of the River Thames at low tide, this speculative walk will explore the physical and imagined landscape of some of London’s future islands, that could emerge, should the Thames barrier ever fail, in the context of rising sea levels.

We will experiment with concepts of kinship to become a group of speculative islanders, reflecting on our values, resilience and resources as new climate fiction. Encountering the river first hand (via ferry) and through mudlarked artefacts from the foreshore, we will reflect on London’s deep watery history, our internal and external topographies of the present and our hopes and resources for a collective future.

There will be brief activities, prompts and provocations, (lots of) water and (some) snacks. We hope participants will bring an open mind and the spirit of adventure.

Access info:
– We will access the Thames foreshore at low tide, so it is recommended participants wear comfortable shoes they don’t mind getting muddy. Surfaces are uneven, and steps down can be slippery.
– During the walk, we will take a ferry – tickets can be bought to the pier via Oyster card or contactless payment. Cost £5.70
– The approximate length and duration of the walk is 6.5km and 4 hours, including neo-futurist activities and moments.
– any access concerns or barriers, please email  laura.copsey@gmail.com

About Neo-futuristic Walks: Wetlands

This year, Neo-futuristic Walks in the new phase, called Wetlands, invite strolling through London, Antwerp, Rotterdam and Amsterdam – 4 cities facing the threat of floods. These cities also share one geographical similarity: they all emerged alongside rivers or other water formations. Therefore, water has always been crucial to their existence. By inspecting those sites on foot and creating a laboratory of climate fictions, participants are invited to envision the new relationships between people and water in the urban environments that are at risk of flooding.

Neo-futuristic Walks: Wetlands walk in London was created together with experimental illustrator and researcher Laura Copsey.

The project Neo-futuristic Walks: Wetlands is funded by the Creative Industries Fund NL.
Project partner in London: The Walkative Society  

Laura Copsey

Laura Copsey is an experimental illustrator and researcher living in London. Her work is engaged with visual and experiential storytelling methods at the intersection of heritage and fiction, analysing how the grey area between what is real and imagined can expose our underlying contemporary concerns. Laura uses camera less photography, 16mm, collage, objects and organises experimental approaches to mutual learning and engagement with place – most recently as residency leader of the life of islands with Sail Britain. Laura lectures in Illustration Animation at Kingston School of Art.

Neo-futuristic Walks

Neo-futuristic Walks is a series of “walkable” city inspections that shape a community of neo-futurists. Through the act of walking, neo-futurists explore the primal bodily experience’s role in unfolding new relationships in and with urban environments. They employ context-sensitive speculative scenarios to prepare for inescapable futures and provoke new urban visions.

Neo-futuristic Walks, as a series of walkshops and performative tours, has been presented in various design festivals and has travelled to multiple cities. The Neo-futuristic Walks project was initiated in 2020 by two spatial designers – Aušra Česnauskytė and Goda Verikaitė, currently based in The Hague.

Date: Saturday, 26 August , 2023

Time: 14:00-17:00
Beginning point: Rotherhithe
*The exact meeting location will be sent to your email a couple of days before the event.

Register for the walk via Google Forms: https://forms.gle/boKpNkHxsRM99ZvG6