Abney Rambles: Performing Heritage as an Audio walking Practice in Abney Park Cemetery. / Reagan, Romany.

2018. 457 p.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Unpublished

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@phdthesis{c2abb24df9c841aaa8097fef37c67bdf,
title = "Abney Rambles: Performing Heritage as an Audio walking Practice in Abney Park Cemetery",
abstract = "This thesis is a study of my practice-based research project, Abney Rambles, which is comprised of four audio walks that I researched, wrote, and recorded from 2014 to 2017 within the space of Abney Park cemetery, which is situated in the north London community of Stoke Newington. These four audio walks were created with the aim of engaging the local community of Stoke Newington, the wider community of Hackney, and all visitors to Abney Park cemetery, with the space and to offer different perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. This thesis interrogates theories of walking as an embodied practice in place and as a methodology for exploring layers of meaning within the cemetery. Borrowing a conceptual framework from Arthur Machen, each layer of heritage that I discovered through my research into Abney Park I conceived of as a {\textquoteleft}borderland world{\textquoteright}, with each audio walk that I created positioned as a {\textquoteleft}door of perception{\textquoteright} to access these various borderland worlds. Through the course of my time spent in Abney Park cemetery, I discovered four layers of heritage that coexist within the space: nature reserve, {\textquoteleft}earth mystery{\textquoteright}, outdoor archive, and mourning heritage. My first two audio walks, Woodland Networks and Woodland Magick, aim to inspire a process of acknowledging the agency of nonhumans and to engage the community who uses the cemetery with the fascinating nonhuman history of Abney Park. By breaking down binaries that may be assumed to be static: life/matter, human/animal, will/determination, and organic/inorganic, these two audio walks also pose larger questions about our human position in a world that is both human and nonhuman. My third audio walk, Love, Wrath, Death, Lions—A Performed History of Frank and Susannah Bostock, brings one stone monument to {\textquoteleft}life{\textquoteright} within the cemetery: the Bostock lion. This audio walk aims to show, through an actor portrayal of the lives represented by one gravemarker, that Abney Park cemetery is a three-dimensional, walk-through archive that is filled with stories of love and loss housed in each gravemarker within Abney Park{\textquoteright}s thirty-two acres. My fourth audio walk, Thoughts on Mourning, offers an invitation to see Victorian garden cemeteries and Victorian mourning practices in a way other than that of the often fetishised {\textquoteleft}cult of the dead{\textquoteright} perspective, and uses the mode of walking, and intimate interaction with the space, to present views of death positivity. Each of these four audio walks aims to open up to visitors the tapestry of perceptual possibilities within a cemetery space. I created my Abney Rambles series of audio walks with the aim of facilitating community engagement with Abney Park cemetery. My audio walking practice sits within the context of wider Abney Park Trust community engagement initiatives. Members of the wider community who are not familiar with Abney Park, the complex heritage that it holds, or the year-round community engagement initiatives organised by the Abney Park Trust, might not think of the cemetery as their local nature reserve park and heritage site—my work aims to widen public perception of this important community space.",
keywords = "Psychogeography, mourning practices, The Good Death, anachronistic space, theatre archaeology, heterotopia, gothic, liminal space, human geography, uncanny, Victorian cult of the dead, Heritage , thanatourism, dark tourism, mortality mediation",
author = "Romany Reagan",
note = "Romany Reagan received her doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London in performing heritage, with a focus on community engagement. Her practice-based research project {\textquoteleft}Abney Rambles{\textquoteright} is a series of four audio walks written for Abney Park cemetery. Through the use of artistic interventions engaging with four facets of heritage within the space, audio technology, and social media, she has aimed to expand the digital footprint of Abney Park cemetery to reach diverse audiences and forge relationships with community groups through invitations to interact with the layered heritage of the cemetery. Her continued work with Abney Park aims to engage the local community of Stoke Newington, the wider community of Hackney, and all visitors to the cemetery, with the space and to offer different perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. Reagan{\textquoteright}s walk {\textquoteleft}Crossing Paths/Different Worlds in Abney Park Cemetery{\textquoteright} was published in Ways to Wander (Triarchy Press, 2015) Twitter: @msromany Areas of interest encompass: psychogeography, mourning practices, {\textquoteleft}The Good Death{\textquoteright}, anachronistic space, theatre archaeology, heterotopias, gothic sensibility, liminal spaces, human geography, the uncanny, and the Victorian {\textquoteleft}Cult of the Dead{\textquoteright}. Her walks in Abney Park Cemetery, and further information, are available on her website: AbneyRambles.com",
year = "2018",
language = "English",
school = "Royal Holloway, University of London",

}

RIS

TY - THES

T1 - Abney Rambles: Performing Heritage as an Audio walking Practice in Abney Park Cemetery

AU - Reagan, Romany

N1 - Romany Reagan received her doctorate from Royal Holloway, University of London in performing heritage, with a focus on community engagement. Her practice-based research project ‘Abney Rambles’ is a series of four audio walks written for Abney Park cemetery. Through the use of artistic interventions engaging with four facets of heritage within the space, audio technology, and social media, she has aimed to expand the digital footprint of Abney Park cemetery to reach diverse audiences and forge relationships with community groups through invitations to interact with the layered heritage of the cemetery. Her continued work with Abney Park aims to engage the local community of Stoke Newington, the wider community of Hackney, and all visitors to the cemetery, with the space and to offer different perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. Reagan’s walk ‘Crossing Paths/Different Worlds in Abney Park Cemetery’ was published in Ways to Wander (Triarchy Press, 2015) Twitter: @msromany Areas of interest encompass: psychogeography, mourning practices, ‘The Good Death’, anachronistic space, theatre archaeology, heterotopias, gothic sensibility, liminal spaces, human geography, the uncanny, and the Victorian ‘Cult of the Dead’. Her walks in Abney Park Cemetery, and further information, are available on her website: AbneyRambles.com

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - This thesis is a study of my practice-based research project, Abney Rambles, which is comprised of four audio walks that I researched, wrote, and recorded from 2014 to 2017 within the space of Abney Park cemetery, which is situated in the north London community of Stoke Newington. These four audio walks were created with the aim of engaging the local community of Stoke Newington, the wider community of Hackney, and all visitors to Abney Park cemetery, with the space and to offer different perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. This thesis interrogates theories of walking as an embodied practice in place and as a methodology for exploring layers of meaning within the cemetery. Borrowing a conceptual framework from Arthur Machen, each layer of heritage that I discovered through my research into Abney Park I conceived of as a ‘borderland world’, with each audio walk that I created positioned as a ‘door of perception’ to access these various borderland worlds. Through the course of my time spent in Abney Park cemetery, I discovered four layers of heritage that coexist within the space: nature reserve, ‘earth mystery’, outdoor archive, and mourning heritage. My first two audio walks, Woodland Networks and Woodland Magick, aim to inspire a process of acknowledging the agency of nonhumans and to engage the community who uses the cemetery with the fascinating nonhuman history of Abney Park. By breaking down binaries that may be assumed to be static: life/matter, human/animal, will/determination, and organic/inorganic, these two audio walks also pose larger questions about our human position in a world that is both human and nonhuman. My third audio walk, Love, Wrath, Death, Lions—A Performed History of Frank and Susannah Bostock, brings one stone monument to ‘life’ within the cemetery: the Bostock lion. This audio walk aims to show, through an actor portrayal of the lives represented by one gravemarker, that Abney Park cemetery is a three-dimensional, walk-through archive that is filled with stories of love and loss housed in each gravemarker within Abney Park’s thirty-two acres. My fourth audio walk, Thoughts on Mourning, offers an invitation to see Victorian garden cemeteries and Victorian mourning practices in a way other than that of the often fetishised ‘cult of the dead’ perspective, and uses the mode of walking, and intimate interaction with the space, to present views of death positivity. Each of these four audio walks aims to open up to visitors the tapestry of perceptual possibilities within a cemetery space. I created my Abney Rambles series of audio walks with the aim of facilitating community engagement with Abney Park cemetery. My audio walking practice sits within the context of wider Abney Park Trust community engagement initiatives. Members of the wider community who are not familiar with Abney Park, the complex heritage that it holds, or the year-round community engagement initiatives organised by the Abney Park Trust, might not think of the cemetery as their local nature reserve park and heritage site—my work aims to widen public perception of this important community space.

AB - This thesis is a study of my practice-based research project, Abney Rambles, which is comprised of four audio walks that I researched, wrote, and recorded from 2014 to 2017 within the space of Abney Park cemetery, which is situated in the north London community of Stoke Newington. These four audio walks were created with the aim of engaging the local community of Stoke Newington, the wider community of Hackney, and all visitors to Abney Park cemetery, with the space and to offer different perspectives on what a cemetery can represent within its local community. This thesis interrogates theories of walking as an embodied practice in place and as a methodology for exploring layers of meaning within the cemetery. Borrowing a conceptual framework from Arthur Machen, each layer of heritage that I discovered through my research into Abney Park I conceived of as a ‘borderland world’, with each audio walk that I created positioned as a ‘door of perception’ to access these various borderland worlds. Through the course of my time spent in Abney Park cemetery, I discovered four layers of heritage that coexist within the space: nature reserve, ‘earth mystery’, outdoor archive, and mourning heritage. My first two audio walks, Woodland Networks and Woodland Magick, aim to inspire a process of acknowledging the agency of nonhumans and to engage the community who uses the cemetery with the fascinating nonhuman history of Abney Park. By breaking down binaries that may be assumed to be static: life/matter, human/animal, will/determination, and organic/inorganic, these two audio walks also pose larger questions about our human position in a world that is both human and nonhuman. My third audio walk, Love, Wrath, Death, Lions—A Performed History of Frank and Susannah Bostock, brings one stone monument to ‘life’ within the cemetery: the Bostock lion. This audio walk aims to show, through an actor portrayal of the lives represented by one gravemarker, that Abney Park cemetery is a three-dimensional, walk-through archive that is filled with stories of love and loss housed in each gravemarker within Abney Park’s thirty-two acres. My fourth audio walk, Thoughts on Mourning, offers an invitation to see Victorian garden cemeteries and Victorian mourning practices in a way other than that of the often fetishised ‘cult of the dead’ perspective, and uses the mode of walking, and intimate interaction with the space, to present views of death positivity. Each of these four audio walks aims to open up to visitors the tapestry of perceptual possibilities within a cemetery space. I created my Abney Rambles series of audio walks with the aim of facilitating community engagement with Abney Park cemetery. My audio walking practice sits within the context of wider Abney Park Trust community engagement initiatives. Members of the wider community who are not familiar with Abney Park, the complex heritage that it holds, or the year-round community engagement initiatives organised by the Abney Park Trust, might not think of the cemetery as their local nature reserve park and heritage site—my work aims to widen public perception of this important community space.

KW - Psychogeography

KW - mourning practices

KW - The Good Death

KW - anachronistic space

KW - theatre archaeology

KW - heterotopia

KW - gothic

KW - liminal space

KW - human geography

KW - uncanny

KW - Victorian cult of the dead

KW - Heritage

KW - thanatourism

KW - dark tourism

KW - mortality mediation

UR - https://abneyrambles.com/

M3 - Doctoral Thesis

ER -