Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Monday, August 19, 2013


I’ve written elsewhere on this blog about ruin, war photography and walking, and the way in which the walker so often becomes a compositional element in an image.  Well, it won’t be stopping any time soon. 

Last week, supporters of deposed President Mohamed Morsi attacked dozens of Christian churches in Egypt, justified on the basis that Christians have in general supported the military takeover.  Last Thursday the Evangelical Church of Mallawi (Mallawi being an Egyptian town, south of Cairo), was ransacked looted and burned.

These pictures by Roger Anis show the ruins and the people walking there, and they strike me as wonderful: informative, moving, infinitely depressing.  But even as we resist the aestheticization of ruin, we also know that if the photographs didn’t contain walkers, they wouldn’t be nearly so effective. 

This brings me, in a bathetic sort of way to the cover of the next Nicholson book, titled, perhaps unsurprisingly, Walking In Ruins.

There’ll be far more plugging nearer the time of publication: October.  I didn’t have a whole lot of input on the cover design but the one thing I was absolutely certain of, I didn’t want the image to show a picture of someone walking in ruins.  I didn’t even discuss it with the designer; he simply got it.  

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