The Loiterers Resistance Movement (2006–present) is a ‘Manchester-based collective of artists and activists interested in psychogeography and public space.’ They host a free monthly dérive on the first Sunday of every month that is open to the public. They are considered core contributors to the tradition of British psychogeography, and part of what Tina Richardson has identified as the 'new psychogeography'. The LRM have also been identified as contributing to the visibility and practices of walking women: they were featured on the BBC Radio 4 broadcast, 'The Art of Now: Women Who Walk' (2018), and are also included in the Live Art Development Agency's Study Room Guide on WALKING WOMEN (2015).
Founded in 2006 by Morag Rose, the Loiterers Resistance Movement (LRM) is ‘a Situationist-inspired psychogeography group that roams the city sharing knowledge and experiences of the ever-changing urban environment.' On the first Sunday of every month they facilitate ‘a free communal wander, open to anyone curious about the potential of public space and unravelling stories hidden within our everyday landscape.’ The LRM does not have requirement for consistent membership and ‘people float in and out and define their own level of commitment. Rose identifies it ‘as a free floating community’, stating, ‘People don’t tend to show up every month like clockwork, but it’s also rare to only see a face once.’ Rose founded the group 'motivated by love and curiosity for Manchester and a concern, sometimes rage, at the damage neoliberalism causes to our communities.' The LRM is part of the Walking Artists Network, and participate in network discussions and events. In 2017, Rose was awarded the Living Streets Charles Maher Award for her work with the LRM and her contributions to and engagement with the public space of Manchester.
Theory and PracticeEdit
The LRM draws on the practice of the dérive and the concept of psychogeography, first theorised by the Letterist International, and further developed by the Situationist International. The LRM describes the dérive as 'a way of walking across the city which ignores normal conventions of going from A to B. Instead [the] route is guided by playfulness, feeling and instinct.' They note that a 'variety of methods can be used to shape a wander' and that each exploration is unique and 'shaped by whoever turns up on the day'.
Following the Situationist focus on practice, Rose states, 'the LRM do agree that psychogeography has to be practice as well as theory; that praxis belongs on the street and is shaped by our footsteps.' For Rose, 'the dérive 'offers alternative ways to think about space and walking together helps to connect, interrogate and explore our city.' The group looks to ‘complicate the official narrative and deviate from the official tour’ and explore the city as a site of multiple narratives, diversity and personal history’ Over their ten year history the LRM has engaged the city in a variety of ways. These include 'an attempt to “dematerialise” the new Beetham Tower', and 'impromptu concert with kazoos and tambourines' in an underground car park.
We can’t agree on what psychogeography means but we all like plants growing out of the side 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 and blandness makes us sad. We believe there is magic in the Mancunian rain. Our city is wonderful and made for more than shopping. The streets belong to everyone and we want to reclaim them for play and revolutionary fun.
Loitering With Intent (2016)Edit
In 2016 the LRM curated the Arts Council England funded exhibition Loitering with Intent at the People’s History Museum in Manchester. The exhibition had ‘an explicit political agenda to uncover the powerful dynamics that shape Manchester and offer an alternative way to view them.’ The exhibition featured 'material from The LRM archive, documenting [their] 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', as well as 'contributions from local, national and international artists inspired by psychogeography' in the form of 'film, drawing, painting, DIY maps, photographs' and a variety of other media.
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