The Loiterers Resistance Movement

Celebrating 10 years of Creative Mischief at the Peoples History Museum

This page will be used for updates on Loitering With Intent: The Art and Politics of Walking. The exhibition is open in the Community Gallery of The Peoples History Museum between July 23rd-October 14th 2016.  The full event programme and list of participating artists will be confirmed shortly. In the meantime here is a general introduction.

The LRM (Loiterers Resistance Movement) is a Manchester based collective interested in psychogeography, public space and uncovering the secret stories of the city. Since 2006 we have been organising public walks, dérives (drifts), games and spectacles offering new ways to explore the streets. To celebrate 10 years of loitering please come and play with us at The Peoples History Museum

The LRM manifesto says “We can’t agree on what psychogeography means but we all like plants growing out of the sides of buildings, looking at things from new angles, radical history, drinking tea and getting lost, having fun and feeling like a tourist in your home town. Gentrification, advertising, surveillance and blandness make us sad. We believe there is magic in the Mancunian rain. Our city is made for more than shopping. We want to reclaim it for play and revolutionary fun.”

Psychogeography explores how we feel about our environment and the hidden forces that shape wherever we are. The term was first used by Guy Debord, founder member of the Situationist international. Psychogeography has now evolved into a rich and diverse body of art and literature. Psychogeographers use walking in creative ways to explore, experience and map the city. For The LRM our work has an explicit political agenda to uncover the power dynamics that shape our city and offer an alternative way to view them. Every step we take creates new connections and an emotional remapping that inspires different ways to look at Manchester. On the first Sunday of every month we host an expedition which brings people together to wander, play, learn and embrace the possibilities our streets offer. We are volunteer run, not-for-profit and our events are always free and open to everyone.

Walking is often taken for granted as an everyday activity but it has extraordinary resonance. The exhibition explores how walking can be a walk of art or a political act. It documents how the fight for the right to roam in the city, to take up space, is not over. Not everyone is safe or welcome on the streets. Privatisation and enclosure of common land has an impact on everyone, restricting where we go and how we act. Do you know who owns the pavement and whether you are at risk of trouble if you stop to chat? Who is absent from the pavement, park or cafe you use? How can it be made more accessible and open? The LRM believe the streets belong to everyone. Our version of walking includes wheelchairs, sticks and other mobility aids. We want to play out with anyone and everyone interested in imagining, shaping and exploring the city of their dreams. We also believe psychogeography should not be an elite interest; anyone can join in and enjoy playing with the power of the derive.  This exhibition brings together artists, activists and loiterers from Manchester and beyond who share our vision. It includes a diverse range of work reflecting the many aspects of psychogeography. 

We will share material from The LRM archive, documenting our expeditions as well as posters, found objects and handcrafted items used to guide walks such as CCTV Bingo Cards, game pieces made from metal salvaged from car manufacturing and maps transformed into fortune tellers. There will be presented alongside wider archive material looking at the right to roam and protect public space. We are delighted there are also contributions from local, national and international artists inspired by psychogeography. There is film, drawing, painting, DIY maps, photographs and more, including tools for you to take away and begin your own exploration. A full list of participating artists will be available on the gallery and on our website. There is a programme of events too, expect a blossoming of psychogeographical activity across the city as we take the theory onto the streets where it belongs.

The LRM believe the streets should belong to everyone and that our pavements are full of stories, adventures and connections just waiting to be discovered. To celebrate 10 years of loitering in Manchester we’ve organised an exhibition and a programme of events so please come and walk, play, wander and wonder with us. 

(photograph by Helen Derby, was taken during our We Shall Overcome on The Streets event for We Shall Overcome with Quiet Loner and Steve Durrant)