On March 25, 2020 New Zealand entered Level 4 and nationally we turned to walking to cope. As we walked we witnessed empty streets and saw our neighbourhoods as other. The world was different. To acknowledge the importance of urban walking during the first major level change, and every subsequent one we have invited five writers to tell us new stories of walking in a time of Covid.
Our writers include: Russell Brown, Nisha Madhan, Karlo Mila, Zech Soakai and Kennedy Warne
Russell Brown is journalist, music writer and media commentator. He is the owner of the Public Address community of blogs, and writes the blog Hard News.
During the first ‘great’ lockdown Nisha Madhan was invited to create Born Under a Bad Star, an audio performance from lockdown. One of a series of podcasts from Pantograph Punch, its there for you to listen to when you’re feeling uncertain or off-centre. A writer, performer for stage and screen, an award winning creator of contemporary live performance, and the programmer for Basement Theatre Madhan’s career is eclectic and inspiring.
One of the gems from Creative New Zealand’s #ThankfulForArt campaign was Karlo Mila’s Walking by myself at night during lockdown. Dr Mila is an award winning poet whose work focuses on Pasific culture, heritage and worldview. Her first collection, Dream Fish Floating, won the poetry category of the Montana New Zealand Book Awards. Her second collection of poems The Goddess Muscle was published in 2020.
Zech Soakai is a spoken word poet based in Tamaki Makaurau. His writing often explores diaspora and Pasifika identity. Zech believes poetry’s potency is found in its ability to make a something ‘beautiful and memorable.’
While many of Kennedy Warne’s articles for New Zealand Geographic and National Geographic talk of far flung and exotic places, he has a keen eye for the local, discovering the unsung ecologies of Auckland and New Zealand. Every fortnight Kennedy Warne speaks to us about the outdoors, nature and adventure on Radio New Zealand in a slot entitled Off the Beaten Track.