Hello CHATters,

It’s taken a while to sort out the program, but we’ve now arranged a whole month of exciting events that we hope you’ll enjoy.

To navigate the program, just click on each day to see the abstract and other important information prior to the event. We’ll be activating full information about each event the day before it’s timetabled to happen. Links to all live events will be sent via our subscription service by email each week. There are two sorts of event: static events (videos, exhibitions, etc.) which will have a page with content; and live events which will present some kind of discussion or activity on Zoom or Twitter.

So, do subscribe (it is free) and if you’d like to attend an event and you don’t receive the link two days before it’s timetabled, please email us at

We’re looking forward to sharing a great (virtual) pilgrimage to the holy grounds of contemporary and historical archaeology… and Santiago de Compostela.

(btw… if you happen to be in Santiago this month, get in touch and share your visit on Twitter!)

November 1 – [static] // Here but not here II

Lara Band & Aileen Ogilvie

Join us in a sonic mapping experience, inspired at least in part by Pauline Oliveros’ Deep Listening. Starting on 1 November and running each day throughout PilgrimCHAT, participants will take turns to record and share their 1-3 minute field recording of their local environment, using the app Signal, for other participants to listen to in their own chosen location.

Based on previous sound/place experiments by Aileen Ogilvie and Lara Band, Here but not Here encourages participants to tune into their environment with aural intent. Through this geographically and temporally fluid call and response, we aim to inspire thinking on how archaeology can use sound more e/affectively, extensively and creatively, to recognise the contemporaneity and coincidence of multiple pasts, and places, in the present.

There’s no output as such, the aim is just to listen and reflect on sound throughout the month. But participants are welcome to share thoughts, and to create and share* their own remixes of and responses to all sounds, building new architectures through sound and imagination. Equipment needed: Smartphone with Signal messenger app downloaded

Ideally we’d like participants to sign up prior to the opening of PilgrimCHAT on 1st November so we’re ready to go each day, but you’ll still be able to sign up during November if you wish to do so. Please share this call onwards with any sound interested people you know.

To sign up email, we’ll send you further details including a link to the private Signal group and your day for recording and sharing.

We look forward to hearing you!

Aileen and Lara

November 1 – 18:30 GMT // Pilgrim pubCHAT

Join us in this unusual opening ceremony to know more about the month to come and gather together for a while in the spirit of classic pub CHATs … After a brief presentation of the program and the functioning of the event, we will continue socialising and sharing as a warm up for a long month of amazing events.

Do not forget to subscribe in order to get all the updates and links for the events:

November 2 – 13:00 GMT // Archiving heritage on the move

Emily C. Arauz

Recognizing that we all have stories—including pasts, presents, and futures—this research endeavors to capture the dynamism and diversity of our personal forms of heritage. As people move across borders, between cities, along roads, and overseas, as researchers we must recognize that heritage moves too, embodied by the individual person on the move. Heritage can be destroyed and left behind, but it can also grow and change, adapting to new languages, cultures, cuisines, relationships, and experiences.

This project was initiated in 2016 to complement the research on the destroyed archaeological heritage of Syria and Iraq, as well as the growing research on the materiality of refugeehood and migration. Interviews with individuals, including students, migrants, refugees, artists, and cultural practitioners in Istanbul, Berlin, and Amsterdam illustrated how heritage could encompass more than the objects and buildings left behind. More specifically, responses articulated the existence of newly defined personal heritage, in addition to the shared and authorized World Heritage. The long-term goal of this project is to create an open, crowdsourced, and dynamic digital archive of heritage on the move.

Currently, this research is in the initial phase of collecting data to build the archive, and thus, during CHAT Pilgrim 2021, I will be sharing a Google Form with questions for participants to answer, thereby contributing their own heritage to the archive. Shifting from researcher into the role of subject inevitably upends assumed hierarchies, and reminds us that we are all humans on the move with stories to share. Questions purposely designed as open-ended such as “Where are you going?” create space for a diversity of interpretation. Ultimately, through the dynamic processes of dialogue, sharing, recording, and archiving, I aim to preserve snapshots of these ever-evolving forms of heritage as they exist in a moment of time in November 2021.

Please join me and share your stories, define your heritage, and start a dialogue with future collaborators on the move around the world: . By filling out the form, you will have the option to leave your name and contact information if you would like to receive future news about this project.

*There will be a wrap up presentation on November 30.

November 3 – 18:00 GMT // An archive of suburban Minnesota pilgrimage

Sophie Durbin

Pilgrims of the early medieval world traveling to the Holy Land transformed sacred topography into collectible artifacts by archiving soil, rocks, and pieces of relics into portable reliquary boxes (see: examples from the Sancta Sanctorum treasure in the Vatican). The boxes allowed travellers to access their devotional experiences by interacting with these blessed materials after their journeys ended. Drawing upon perceptions of place in medieval pilgrimage as well as modern artistic attempts to re-conceptualize place, this digital exhibition transforms materials of the suburban Minnesota landscape into contemporary relics through a series of artist-made reliquary boxes.

November 4 – 12:30 GMT // Into the Heart of the Mound

Sarah May

I miss London. Although I have never lived in London the perambulations of my life have swung around the city. My grandmother lived there, and my best friend. Sometimes I’ve worked there. I was married there.  I haven’t travelled to London now for 19 months, the longest haven’t made that pilgrimage since 1986.

Now I hear that they have built a mound at Marble Arch – or something like a mound, but not really a mound – and it reminds me of the not-a-mound which I travelled to before coming to London in 1986, the passage tomb of Knowth where I was learning to dig. And another mound, Silbury Hill, that was a mound but people couldn’t believe that it was just a mound, that I travelled to every week in the year my grandmother died, because making it just a mound again was complicated.

So the not-a-mound draws me to London, as mounds often do, despite the disappointment with which it has been greeted. This short film will share the physical, mental and emotional journey, tying in the other mounds and not-a-mounds along the way. I want to reflect on how the place changes as I move towards it – how archaeological approaches work at a distance, and in the heart of the mound.

November 5 – 20:00 GMT // Graffiti Tourism

Emma Bryning

As an act of mark-making, graffiti can be understood as a form of visual communication; as an example of self-expression or as an art form; as part of both a subcultural practice and a global movement; as an historic record; and as a way to understand local environments as they can contribute to a sense of ‘place’. Alongside all of this, graffiti can also be viewed as physical evidence of movement and a type of materiality left behind which can help shape the landscapes and environments around us.

Graffiti as a form of ‘materiality of movement’ can be evidenced in both historic and contemporary marks: this includes the recurring connection between freights, trains, subways and graffiti; marks created at pilgrimage sites as a ‘mark of prayer and thanksgiving’ (Easton 2015); the aesthetics and physical form of modern graffiti which often includes suggested movement in their design; how images of graffiti are increasingly shared across the globe – providing graffitists which new international audiences – and the interesting connection between tourism and this mark-making practice. Matthew Champion has written that graffiti can become more prominent at times when populations become more mobile (2017, p7). This idea can be seen in graffiti connected to the Grand Tour when individuals would sometimes leave marks as part of their tourist experience, as part of a cultural pilgrimage, and how leaving graffiti at heritage sites became an increasingly common practice in Britain in the 19th-century due to factors including increased leisure time and the advent of the railways. This practice of leaving a mark to state ‘I was here’ continues to be a common practice to this day, as many individuals leave something behind of themselves as they visit new spaces, as tourist marks, or as a way of forging a connection with the environments around them as they move between spaces, such as with tagging. Whilst historic and contemporary tourist graffiti can be understood as evidence of the materiality of movement, graffiti and street art can increasingly attract tourists themselves with individuals travelling to see particular pieces or graffiti hot-spots. Consequently, graffiti can both serve as evidence of travel and tourism, the mark-makers, and also as part of the reason for such movement, the mark-seekers.

Alongside the presentation, there will also be a digital exhibition displaying a variety of photographs which demonstrate the relationship between graffiti, tourism and movement, featuring marks made in a variety of different contexts and from a range of historic periods. These images will come from a collection of photographs taken during the course of my research project so far, which seeks to explore whether understanding graffiti creation today can help us to better understand their role in the past. Each photograph will be accompanied by a description as well as location information in case viewers are able to and want to seek-out the graffiti in-person for themselves. The digital exhibition will include photographs displayed on an Instagram page and a 3D virtual gallery, the latter being temporary for the duration of the conference and, thus, reflecting the often ephemeral nature of graffiti itself.

November 6 – [static] // Eat, sleep, walk, grafeet

Sophie Martin

The graffiti of the final 100km along the French Way of the Camino comprises ink scrawls of text. The graffiti is in the context of pilgrimage and the Camino, however, it is not sentiments of well-wishes or religious motifs as one might expect. Instead, the predominance of the gravity comprises a destination focused text. An example of this is ‘Santiago didn’t start in Sarria’, is suggestive of the competitive mindset of modern pilgrims that believe they have travelled further than those around them. Whilst this is certainly the case for some pilgrims, who have travelled from Burgos, León, Roncesvalles, or even St Jean Pied de Port (780km from Santiago de Compostela), others travelled from much further afield, and some from Sarria (100km from Santiago de Compostela). The underlying tone of such graffiti suggests a competitive element of the Camino and challenges the concept of a ‘real prilgrim’ amongst those that travel the Camino.

November 7 – ≈10:30 GMT // CAT-WALK

Angela Piccini, Sefryn Penrose & Carlo

Philosopher John Grey claims that cats are happy because they do not narrativize their lives: they are without the weight of history. In “Walking the Fe/Line” (link above), Sefryn Penrose and Angela Piccini investigate how walking with Carlo-the-cat offers new perspectives and understandings of their neighbourhood in Plymouth, juxtaposing stories in place with the difference of Carlo’s attentions: his present-ness and close sensing. The all-present imprint of human life is underscored by the lightness of the cat’s presence. Carlo’s early mapping of the territory to which he had just moved and his enjoyment of walking with a “pack” forces a slower, differently scaled and more sensual experiencing of the commonplace, and one that leaves a less overt trace.

We, Angela, Sefryn, and Carlo invite participants to join us on one of Carlo’s cat-walks through Plymouth’s Barbican district by walking the fe/line through your own location, experiencing cat-story alongside human-story. While you can join our live broadcast from the comfort of your home (and follow us on a map), we also invite you to replicate Carlo’s movements as we live-tweet them, to engage with us via social media on your own cat-timed walk through your own place, in your own time. We will share directions and a map that you can use to investigate your own space. Other non-humans are invited. If you can’t join us live, you can use the recorded walk, map, and instructions to walk your own fe/line in your own time.

We will then come together for a post-walk, CHAT-cat-chat, covering moving with/like the other-than-human; temporality; and the intra-actions of cat-human-matter-space. What can observing the way that the other-than-human experiences place contribute to archaeological practice? How can attending to the movements of semi-domesticated animals (and by extension, other animals, birds, and other beings) open up new relations with space, movement and mapping? This is serious play and we will encourage pouncing, rolling, climbing trees, sniffing the air, tracking previous space-users, string chasing, dog-beetle-bird alertness, and food theft, as well as heedfulness of the inescapably human.

November 8 – 20:00 GMT // Three ponderings

Three ponderings

Rebecca Lambert

Ponderings Upon Wandering as Release.

“Walking has always helped me to negotiate the good, and the bad”.

In this piece I ponder upon the act of solitary walking as a means to cope with severe trauma. Having experienced the sudden death of my father when I was only 17, I began to wander to escape. This strategy has remained with me throughout my life, but has, at times, been taken away from me. I discuss how this loss of agency affected me, and what it means to have regained it…

Ponderings Upon Losing Yourself to Find the Way

“Whether it’s a positive or negative experience, I can’t hold back. I have to persist, and experience; to feel, not think”.

In this Pondering I discuss my connection with landscape; how I physically approach it, and metaphysically engage with it. I ponder upon what it is to be a Landscape Punk, and how giving yourself up entirely, body and soul, to the environment within which you are wandering, is the only way to truly connect, that we must be prepared to lose ourselves to find the way…

Ponderings Upon Connection Through Introspection: Detectorists, Inherent Knowledge, and Hearing the Song of Time…

“There is no past, nor future, there is just the experiential experience, the now. Feeling, not thinking; true connection through a perceived social isolation”

In this Pondering I consider how introspection and solitary meanderings can enable connection with the past, present, and future, whilst facilitating a widening of experience, assisting personal and professional progression…

November 8 – 9:15 GMT // Moving Sant Iago (performance)

Tracy Breathnach

One of the churches in my parish is St James Church, which serves the parish of Pyle and Kenfig in south Wales, an area of great antiquity. According to their website “a church of the same name served the medieval borough established by the Normans at Kenfig in the 12th century. Whatever is left of it now lies under a sea of sand that destroyed the town in the mid-fifteenth century. The only visible remains of the town is the ruined, lower section of the castle, originally a small tower keep.”

I was raised a Catholic and so I have been surrounded by saints and the worship of saints throughout my childhood. Informed by these early experiences, more recently I have developed a performance practice using Authentic Movement, which founder Janet Adler calls a mystical discipline that supports me to connect to saints in an embodied way.

Every Monday morning throughout November, I will visit the grounds of St James, Sant Iago, in Pyle and create a simple ritual Authentic Movement offering and stream this live to share with the CHAT conference (tech permitting). The movement will last approx. 25 mins followed by 10 min verbal sharing from me about a ‘moment’ which is still with me. My invitation is to know something more about Sant Iago by moving in this place dedicated to him. How might movement in relation to the saint in this place impact me? What are my sensory and energetic phenomenal experiences? What might my small movements in a delineated space in the church grounds leave behind? What is my offering?

November 9 – [static] // Walking between walls

William Caraher

In April 1997, the Red River of the North overran its bank and inundated the cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota forcing over 50,000 residents to evacuate and significant damage to both cities. In the aftermath of this flood, the two cities demolished a number of neighborhoods that stood close to the river, installed a series of massive floodways that run for nearly 15 kms along the course of the Red River, and constructed a new series of pump and lift stations. This work created a massive park, known as the Grand Forks Greenway, of over 8 square kilometers festooned with bike paths, river access, and recreation areas and separated from the residential and commercial areas of the city by a series of imposing earthen and cement flood walls pierced by gates.

November 10 – 20:00 GMT // Pilgrimage, Movement and Sensory Experiences…

Ruth M. Van Dyke

The Indigenous inhabitants of the North American Southwest live within a rugged landscape of stone and sky.  Here, sacred mountain peaks, canyons, and rivers are bound up with religious practices, cosmologies, and histories.  Indigenous peoples mark sacred places with shrines, rock art, votive deposits, trails, linear alignments, and archaeological sites.  Holy people, elders, and initiates regularly undertake pilgrimages to natural and archaeological places.  One such place is the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Chaco Canyon in northwest New Mexico, United States. 

Roughly a thousand years ago (850-1150 CE), Chaco Canyon was a center place that drew Indigenous peoples from across the surrounding region for religious gatherings that may have corresponded to solar and lunar events.  As pilgrims journeyed towards Chaco Canyon, they followed highly visible peaks.  Over time, they marked the route and many high places with shrines and rock art.  Chacoans modified the landscape to further express the idea of Chaco Canyon as the center place, constructing massive roads leading north and south from the canyon.  The sensory and experiential dimensions of these practices, and of the greater Chaco landscape, are underexplored and form part of the focus of my current work.  One source of inspiration for my pilgrimage studies at Chaco is my own bodily experience walking four Caminos de Santiago between 2011 and 2021.

November 11 – 18:00 GMT // Another scratch on the wall

Afonso Leão, Daniel Carvalho, Inês Castro, João Figueiredo, João Sequeira, Joel Santos, Mariana Nunes, Susana Pacheco, Tiago Silva &Tânia Casimiro

Summer of 2021. One of us is driving a van across a dirt road in direction to a beach in the mouth of the Tagus River. On the left side of the road a long wall enclosures a military compound. Thousands of people pass through this road every year, a few hundred of them stopping there, and using any sharp tool to carve their names, relations, date, or any other messages in this wall, resulting in a testimony of at least four decades of communications of people moving and passing by, writing personal messages.

This presentation has many objectives. First it tries to be a join discussion promoting debates made by ten people from various backgrounds, ages, and different academic experiences, about the impact of this wall in the landscape and trying to understand why people stopped there to leave their marks. Secondly it debates different forms to look at contemporary archaeology and heritage with special interest in social interactions. Third it also discusses several methods used to record and analyse such evidence from videos, photographs, drawings, confronting them with the ability to check this site using online tools such as Google Street View.

November 12 – 17:00 GMT // General session 1

17:00 GMT – The celebration of St. Viniri at Băeasă (Vovousa): the archaeology of walking and the Sacred Forests of NW Greece.

Faidon Moudopoulos

In recent years there is a growing interest in the “Sacred Forests” (hereafter vakoúfika)of Zagori and Konitsa in NW Greece. These belong to the National Inventory of Intangible Heritage and have recently attracted interdisciplinary interest from cultural biologists, anthropologists, and conservationists working with the communities associated with these Sacred Natural Sites (IUCN). Vakoúfika are either groves or individual trees, dedicated to patron-Saints, protected through customary laws, communal regulations, religious excommunications, and supernatural narratives. They represent ca. 300 years old tangible reminders of rituals, beliefs, and pre-modern ways of managing the commons that to an extent survive in the present. This presentation wishes to introduce archaeology into the interdisciplinary discourse encompassing the Sacred Forests. Through the concepts of dwelling, walking, and archaeological ethnography, we will evaluate the concept of static “traditional” mountainous communities and focus on the changes that might have occurred to the rituals and beliefs associated with vakoúfika over the past centuries. The case study is the Sacred Forest of Băeasă(Vovousa), dedicated to St. Viniri (Aromanian for Hagia Paraskevi) and the associated rituals.

17:45 GMT – Running as an interpretative practice and the urban fabric

Stelios Lekakis

The proposed short paper will explore urban running and associated athletic activities in the context of the city as a type of contemporary protest performance. Departing from the mundane activity performed by independent subjects for fitness or recreational purposes -i.e. also the main representation of running in art-, we examine running as a collective process of reclaiming the streets and the pavements of the city, common goods gobbled up by the commodified surroundings and the omnipresent cars (De Angelis 2017).

We consider bodies dressed with bright colours as forming trajectories within the urbanscape, encountering human and other than human entities (animals, street furniture), organising an extra layer of meaning, that of a fleeting assertion to the right to the city (Lefebvre 1968). Big running events that halt the life of the city are examined in relation to public manifestations of dissent, discussing aspects of temporality, performativity and the nature of protest.

This paper will draw empirical evidence from the horizontally and non-hierarchically organised, independent runners’ movement, ‘Aneftaoratos’, risen within the locked-down cities of Athens, Greece and Newcastle, UK in 2020. “Aneftaoratos (Greek adjective means disappearing suddenly by running, mainly used in the realm of the fantastic literature) is formed by runners of all ages, working collectively and respectfully to the community of runners and non-runners, against the commercialised forms of street sports and mainly the discriminatory and/or sexist parole” (Lekakis 2020).


Dardot, P. & Laval, C. 2019. Common: On revolution in the 21st century. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

De Angelis, D.M., 2017. Omnia sunt communia: On the commons and the transformation to postcapitalism. Zed Books Ltd.

Lefebvre, H., 1968. Le droit à la ville. París: An

Lekakis, S., 2020. Conjectural insurrections: Aneftaoratos’ Runners Movement. Antipode Online, Accessible at:

Whitehead, C. & Bozoğlu, G. 2016. Protest, Bodies, and the Grounds of Memory: Taksim Square as ‘heritage site’ and the 2013 Gezi Protests. Heritage & Society, 9:2, 111- 136. 

18:30 GMT – The effects of international relations on the process of travelling to the Falkland Islands

Fiona Clements

The Falkland Islands (a.k.a. Las Islas Malvinas) are at the southern end of the Atlantic coast of South America, and Britain and Argentina went to war over them in 1982.

I was born in the islands in 1963, my family moved to the UK in 1976, and in 2005 I returned to the islands for a week as part of a round-the-world trip. There were shifts in Anglo-Argentinian relations during my childhood which led to considerable changes in the methods of travelling to the islands, and the war changed everything yet again.

Any theoretical or archaeological content in this presentation is entirely accidental. I am taking advantage of the theme of “Movement” to talk about my experience of growing up in a very strange place in a very strange time. Among other diversions, there will be photos of penguins nesting in minefields.

November 12 – 9:45 GMT // La memoria que viaja

XI Jornadas de Patrimonio Cultural y Turismo de Buenavista del Norte

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El patrimonio cultural es un largo proceso de construcción, complejo y diferente a lo largo del tiempo. Todas las personas participamos en este proceso, somos parte de él. De modo individual y colectivo, tenemos nuestra propia visión de los bienes, materiales e inmateriales; los interpretamos y decidimos qué y cómo los conservamos, protegemos y usamos. El patrimonio cultural es nuestra historia y nuestra memoria. 

Las manifestaciones culturales son múltiples y diversas, tanto que resulta muy difícil tipificarlas. Pero todas ellas son la base de la identidad cultural de los pueblos, las que expresan su creatividad y crean cultura.

El patrimonio cultural cambia, evoluciona y se transforma; a veces solo queda en la memoria. Y este patrimonio es el que nos interesa analizar en estas jornadas. El patrimonio cultural que viaja. La memoria que viaja.

La inmigración y la globalización implican conexión, movilidad e intercambio de conocimientos, de flujo de capitales y de bienes; de construcción de espacios y lugares comunes donde la diversidad cultural y la multiculturalidad, conviven y se transforman. Conviven sus formas de expresarse, de crear, de entender y de recordar. Vivir así, en ciudades o fronteras, no es fácil, y siempre deja una huella en las personas y los grupos que se desplazan.  Porque ser migrante significa ser parte de “los otros”; ser migrante mujer o ser víctima de la violencia y de los conflictos se refleja en un tapiz de emociones que, inevitablemente, van a transformar la percepción y las bases de la identidad cultural de las personas migrantes e inmigrantes.

En estas jornadas, las XI Jornadas de Patrimonio Cultural y Turismo de Buenavista del Norte, queremos exponer y analizar las transformaciones culturales y las percepciones de diferentes personas y colectivos sobre el patrimonio cultural, a través de sus estudios, de sus investigaciones y, también, de su memoria y emociones.

Se trata de unas jornadas de reflexión sobre las experiencias humanas, para analizar diferentes formas de percibir y sentir la cultura y el patrimonio cultural, a través de los procesos migratorios.  Hablar sobre ello nos ayudará a comprender la transformación y la causa que implica la construcción del patrimonio cultural; nos abrirá una puerta para entender las motivaciones de la migración y para crear un espacio donde debatir y aportar fórmulas para conservar, proteger, aprender, difundir y disfrutar, a través del ocio y del turismo, la diversidad de la cultura y del patrimonio cultural en territorios cada vez más comunes.

La temática de estas jornadas no es inocente. Las Islas Canarias se han convertido en los últimos años en el epicentro mundial de la migración, por la peligrosidad de su ruta. Pero las islas también tienen un largo recorrido histórico de emigración y de inmigración. Por ello, las jornadas quieren aproximarse en esta edición a comprender los motivos y consecuencia del traslado de miles de personas que dejan atrás su tierra; desplazarse así, es el comienzo de un proceso de transformación cultural que establece profundos vínculos con el arte, la educación, la fusión y el mestizaje, la convivencia, los conflictos, la memoria… En definitiva, con la transformación y construcción del patrimonio cultural.

Por todo ello, en esta edición de las jornadas, hemos querido reunir a diferentes personas e instituciones que, con sus trabajos e investigaciones y con sus experiencias, están contribuyendo al reconocimiento y reivindicación de la migración y de la convivencia entre culturas, como un proceso enriquecedor que nos dignifica como sociedad y nos ayuda a comprender, que la movilidad humana es una oportunidad para el desarrollo y crecimiento de los pueblos a través de la cultura y del patrimonio cultural.

En su XI edición, las jornadas, ya consolidadas como un referente en su temática, por la estabilidad, calidad y organización, son una apuesta del municipio de Buenavista del Norte por contribuir y ser centro de análisis de la gestión del patrimonio cultural y del turismo, avalada por las diez ediciones anteriores, que las han convertido en uno de los eventos científicos, académicos y formativos más importantes de las Islas Canarias.

November 13 – 19:00 GMT // Eist!

Aileen Ogilvie

A global pandemic has in many ways made our world smaller but what many people don’t realise is that there is a whole world waiting to be discovered right on our doorsteps, a world that can be explored even further through both listening walks and soundwalking. People often drown out sounds with music and podcasts while out walking but careful listening to our environment can tell us so much about where

we are, where we have been and perhaps where we are going. There is so much to be uncovered whilst walking what may seem like a mundane route.

Eist! is a short film inspired by listening walks and sound walking in south Perth in early 2021 by Aileen Ogilvie. This progressive composition maps the route between a tunnel underneath the southbound railway line and the UK’s most northerly motorway underpass under the M90. This journey through time and space combines fragments of field recordings, found sounds (natural ambient sounds, humanly produced sounds and industrial sounds), spoken word, song, instrumental music, stories of place and the inquisitive thoughts about the traces of the past encountered on the route, both tangible and intangible.

This artefact was created whilst undertaking the Tuning of the Nations module as part of the MA in Contemporary Art and Archaeology with the University of the Highlands & Islands.

Join us on Zoom on Saturday 13th November 7pm for a screening of Eist! and a conversation on the process of excavating mundane movements.

November 14 – 14:00 GMT // ‘Process(ion)’

Denise & Eòghann Mac Colla

Last year and the art of walking and drawing. Applied some dérive to our context, into the heathen lands of Ayrshire becoming an access point to capture ‘place’ but also enabled reflection and understanding of said place to deeper levels. Nature came to the fore, social history uncovered, pace lengthened, timbre altered. Time to think. It has shaped the time in ways none of us could ever imagine, we have and continue to live. ‘Process(ion)’ mapping land, sea, space in real time. The map is ritual, procession, movement, timbre and punctuation. Perhaps it’s a road map to the next place?

Could we correlate the drawing and walking with the emotional and spiritual, by walking in the footsteps of those who lived at Cèide, Beul Deirg or Fionn Lacan by walking the sacred mountain of Craogh Patrick in County Mayo. Has it been a holy mountain for that long. Predating nation states, provinces, Empire, connection goes back a long way in the human cycle. Reformation destroyed many elements here, the power of the book and fear of the word, still shakes us. Who would have thought the space global pandemic made, would enable a reconnecting in deeper ways. Hearing nature, awakening an acknowledgement of where many traditions came from and how they were shaped to where we are, signposting another route, can we make it to the summit?

We logged into Worldometer every day, way ahead of Whitehall. Then online Mass in Ayrshire and Mayo became a regular activity. We liked hearing the priests in their local accents share news and welcome everyone, coupled with message, repetition and the stations. It provided some meter in our days and time. This fed conversations as we surveyed the parks, made field trips on the farm. Following celestials, traversing the hedges. Chasing cows, crossing the hare run. Denise said let’s walk Croagh Padruig, the sacred mountain, could we map that trip to the west?

There was a signpost telling us to go. In a time when some governments believe freedom of movement is not important, even a Right and within the Covid-19 Pandemic that restricted many of those freedoms we hold so dear Process(ion) was born. It will be walked, breathed, felt, heard, lived, drawn, painted and filmed. The whole piece recorded in real time on 23rd & 24th October 2021, come rain hail or shine. There will boats, there will be cows.

*All made possible by the beautiful generosity of artists, musicians, friends and family, who kindly sponsored me and with support from the Festival Chat Committee | Ceud mìle taing dhuibh.

November 15 – 19:00 GMT // Book reading: Heavy Time

Sonia Overall

Heavy Time charts the experience of a secular walker seeking the divine in the everyday. Walking old pilgrim routes and forging new ones, Sonia navigates her way to Walsingham via London and her home town of Ely. Her walk reverses the route of Chaucer’s pilgrims, from Canterbury to Southwark, takes in lengths of the ancient Peddars Way and faces the contemporary reality of walking main roads strung with traffic. Passing ancients chapels and suburban follies, Sonia collects roadside objects to carry as relics, seeking ‘thin places’ and considering the meeting of psychogeography and pilgrimage in the 21st century.

Sonia will read from the book, offer a provocation for walking and answer audience questions.

November 15 – 9:15 GMT // Moving Santi Iago (performance)

Tracy Breathnach

One of the churches in my parish is St James Church, which serves the parish of Pyle and Kenfig in south Wales, an area of great antiquity. According to their website “a church of the same name served the medieval borough established by the Normans at Kenfig in the 12th century. Whatever is left of it now lies under a sea of sand that destroyed the town in the mid-fifteenth century. The only visible remains of the town is the ruined, lower section of the castle, originally a small tower keep.”

I was raised a Catholic and so I have been surrounded by saints and the worship of saints throughout my childhood. Informed by these early experiences, more recently I have developed a performance practice using Authentic Movement, which founder Janet Adler calls a mystical discipline that supports me to connect to saints in an embodied way.

Every Monday morning throughout November, I will visit the grounds of St James, Sant Iago, in Pyle and create a simple ritual Authentic Movement offering and stream this live to share with the CHAT conference (tech permitting). The movement will last approx. 25 mins followed by 10 min verbal sharing from me about a ‘moment’ which is still with me. My invitation is to know something more about Sant Iago by moving in this place dedicated to him. How might movement in relation to the saint in this place impact me? What are my sensory and energetic phenomenal experiences? What might my small movements in a delineated space in the church grounds leave behind? What is my offering?

November 16 – 16:00 GMT // Learning About and Learning From a Syncretic Mountain Pilgrimage Site in New Mexico, USA

Troy Lovata

Walking pilgrimage trails is an effective way to teach contemporary and historic landscape archaeology. It also offers students the opportunity not just to be scholars, but engaged community members in their lived world and student experiences in response illuminate how archaeology itself is practiced. This presentation—a digital exhibition and an online, live conversation—explores curriculum and student work from the University of New Mexico Honors College’s interdisciplinary, first-year undergraduate seminar “The Legacy of Exploration: Exploration of Mountains”. These students alternate between hiking New Mexico’s mountains and reading—classics by John Muir and Isabella Bird, a newer canon of writing by Jon Krakauer, and archaeology and anthropology journal articles—about how mountain landscapes reflect and impact culture. Students, in part, specifically study mountain pilgrimages and walk Tomé Hill in Central New Mexico, USA. Although, at 5223 feet/1592 meters elevation above sea level, it is half the height of the 10,000 foot/3000 meter peaks of the mountains that encircle it; Tomé Hill nonetheless rises up distinctly up some 400 feet/121 meters from the flat Rio Grande plain and has long served as marker on the landscape. It is noted traveler’s accounts from the Spanish Camino Real, the American Territorial period, and today’s interstate road system. Rock art on site includes ancient Native, Spanish colonial, and modern graffiti. Tomé was as a religious focus for pre-contact Native Americans and gained significance for Spanish Colonists and Christianized Native Americans in the 17thcentury. Hermanos Penitentes, a Catholic lay fraternity, had firmly established pilgrimages summiting the hill on Good Friday by the early 1800’s. Although the pilgrimage waned in the early 20th century, it was revived by community members following World War II with year round hikes, crosses, a de facto altar, and National Park Service recognition. Tomé Hill today is also a popular, secular recreation destination and linked to the resurgence of the local Genizaro identity; people who share a distinct Native and Hispano ancestry and culture.

Display of student works is to go live online on November 10 at

Zoom-based online discussion of the site and research methods at 9:00 am US Mountain Standard Time (UTC/GMT -7 hours) on November 16.

November 17 – 10:00 GMT // Twitter session

10:00 – An introduction to wayside archaeology

James Lattin

I propose a Twitter paper (akin to last year’s ‘blue bird’ sessions) with a series of 25 or so tweets. Wayside archaeology is my new(ish) area of research, which seeks both to appreciate lesser-known sites but also to think beyond the structures (mental and physical) which make up ‘heritage’. As well as expanding public interest, I argue we should now be setting out our future interpretations of current sites, lest we be misinterpreted in the years to come. I will reference the science fantasy series ‘the Book of the New Sun’ by Gene Wolfe as well as the work of future archaeologist Robert Smithson.

10:30 – A history of my grandmother in stolen airline cutlery

Gabriel Moshenska

I inherited very little from my grandmother, but in clearing out her home after her death I made sure to keep hold of the small bundle of cutlery that she had stolen, mostly from airlines, during her lifetime. Air travel is a peculiar experience of liminality, non-places, and diverse sensory environments, and airline food is a key part of this experience. For my grandmother, air travel was a great luxury, and a connection to people spread across the world. The knives, forks and spoons that she stole were souvenirs of these experiences, and in retrospect they map her life as a child of poverty, a colonial settler, a reluctant traveller, a cook, a host, and as part of a spatially dispersed network of kinship and friendship.

11:00 – ‘Industrial Archaeology as Pilgrimage: Venerating the Bridgewater Canal & Mines at Worsley, 1761 to 2011’

Michael Nevell

Since Industrial Archaeology emerged as a sub-discipline in the late 1950s and early 1960s there has been a tendency in Britain to both memorialise sites as THE birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, and to turn industrial archaeology and heritage remains into visitor attractions, inviting the public in to take part in a particular type of heritage experience. Often, but not always, these two approaches go together. This tendency to promote both memorialisation and tourism goes back to the very beginnings of the industrialisation process in Britain. An early and long-lived case study is the underground coal mines at Worsley and their entrance via the Bridgewater Canal (usually seen as the industrial canal that promoted the canal revolution) in Salford, Greater Manchester.  This twitter paper will look as successive waves of tourism and memorialisation, including royalty, politicians, and industrial espionage, focussed on the business end of one of the most iconic sites of the Industrialising period, from the opening of the canal in 1761. These waves were stimulated by conscious attempts at commemoration on significant anniversaries (the 100th, 150th, 200th and 250th anniversaries of the canal’s opening), most recently in 2011. It will look at the different motivations of visitors and will reflect on the changing interpretations of and access to the canal and the coal mine entrances from the 18th to the early 21st century’.

November 17 – 16:00 GMT // Rail Faith (workshop)

Kostis Kourelis

The train commute between Philadelphia and Lancaster, Pa. takes place along one of America’s most historical train line. Lasting a little over an hour, the commute gives a visual cross-section of America along seven urban ecologies: from the prosperous downtown, the depressed inner city, the historical suburbs, the postwar car exurbs, steel towns, and farmland. As Wolfgang Schivelbusch argued, the railroad transformed the mental experience of time and space including our perception of architecture. In 1823, the State of Pennsylvania chartered the construction of the first 82 miles of railway from Philadelphia to the Susquehanna River. Known as the Main Line, this route gave birth to the earliest American suburbs replete with new buildings of religious worship. Travel by rail provides a visual continuum for the apprehension of a sting of churches along the Main Line’s temporal-spatial horizon. Although experienced traditionally through the embodied rituals of their respective parishioners (on Sunday), commuters intuited the same buildings from the window of their commute (Monday through Friday). Built after the advent of the train, these churches are in fact poised as visual nodes perceived from the train. Rail Faith has inventoried 47 churches along the Philadelphia-to-Lancaster route. They have been mapped cartographically in their geospatial location as well as momentary visual objects from the train. The presentation will replicate the experience from the train window along with a geographic and historical inventory of their location in cartographic space. The presentation will have a static ArcGIS StoryMap presentation with contextual information and two (westward and eastward) videos. If timing allows, the view from the window can be presented as an interactive live event during the authors commute Philadelphia-to-Lancaster in the morning (6:20-7:33 am EST) and Lancaster-to-Philadelphia in the afternoon (3:42-4:56 pm EST). We will raise broader questions about the possibility of religious pilgrimage in the disembodied experience of industrialized rail travel.

The workshop will take around one hour, exploring the maps.

November 18 – 17:00 GMT // Religious Movement(s)

Johanna A. Pacyga

Conversion is a notoriously difficult object for archaeologists to study. Material practices of conversion are not necessarily indicative of internal, personal, changes in belief (i.e., if the neophyte enacts the correct religious practice, does this mean they have truly altered their belief system?). Recent archaeological work on conversion has focused on the landscape, considering the landscape as a potential reservoir of traditional belief (landscape as resistant to conversion), as well as the concept of landscape as a technology of conversion hegemonically deployed by those wishing to effect conversion. What if we trouble these divergent approaches by considering the question of movement in relation to placemaking and broader landscapes of conversion? For example, how might pilgrimage—that is, religious movement across space, landscape, from place to place—trouble this either/or distinction by emphasizing movement as a means of thinking through the constant construction of place in a way that is neither simply a landscape indexing the ritual past nor a hegemonic reordering of (spiritual) life, but a creative ongoing project of spirituality anchored in the material terrain. Along this vein, this session asks: 1), How does specifically religious-minded movement (re)shape the landscape in contexts of conversion (alternatively, how were such movements shaped by the potentially conservative landscape)? 2), In what ways is conversion—as both a personal and communal experience—produced and nurtured through engagements with placemaking (including pilgrimage, community-building, the construction of ritual religious spaces, etc.)? Rather than focusing solely on colonial missionization (although this is a prime context of inquiry), this session is interested in a global scope of the experience, practice, and materiality associated with an experience of true faith, specifically in the context or aftermath of conversion (whether successful or not) in any period or locale.

List of Papers

  1. 17:00 // James L. Flexner (University of Sydney), “A walk on the beach, a walk in the woods: hiking as kastom methodology in Vanuatu”
  2. 17:20 // Shelona Klatzow (University of Cape Town), “Conversion, Coersion and Covert Raiding at the Platberg Mission Station, Eastern Free State, South Africa”
  3. 17:40 // Olanrewaju Lasisi (College of William and Mary), “Political and Religious Landscapes of Conversion: Movements and Ritual Dramas among the Ijebu of South Western Nigeria”
  4. 18:00 // Johanna A. Pacyga (The University of Chicago), “Taking Root: Catholic Conversion, Movement, and Placemaking in Nineteenth-century Senegal”
  5. 18:20 // Emma Gilheany (The University of Chicago), “Navigating Icescapes in Nunatsiavut: Missionization and its Wintery Discontents”
  6. 18:40 // Scotti Norman (Wake Forest University), “Dancing, Trembling, and Chanting: Bodily Movements, Sacred Spaces, and the Enactment of Anti-Catholic Praxis in Sixteenth-Century Highland Peru”
  7. 19:00 // Alexander Menaker (University of Texas at Austin), “Regionality: Landscapes of History and Power in the Valley of Volcanoes, Southern Peruvian Andes”
  8. 19:20 // Kaitlin M. Brown (California State University, Channel Islands), “Evaluating the effects of conversion among Native Californians during the Mission period: Relocation programs and the making of new indigenous communities”

*For abstracts of the specific papers and the final schedule here.

November 19 – 17:30 GMT // An endless party

Jesús Martín & José María Rufete

During the late 80s and the first 90s in the East of Spain, there was a social movement among the youth related to the party during the weekends. Franco’s dictatorship had recently ended, and democracy had come to stay, even when a leftist party came to power. There were airs and graces of openness and freedom.

Large discos opened to accommodate this youth who began to try synthetic drugs and dance to electronic music—very different leisure from that of their parents. To go from one club to another, in an endless party, which started on a Friday night and ended on a Monday morning, they used cars. This kind of leisure was soon known as the cod route, which is how this type of music is called in Spain in a derogatory way. The artichoke route was the poorest and non-studied version of this route.

November 19 – 19:00 GMT // The Heroes Journey

Barbara Brayshay & Jacqui Mulville

In this presentation, we will report on our most recent festival research findings, undertaken at Green Man festival 2021. Themes of festival as a personal pilgrimage experience figured quite strongly in our previous Glastonbury festival research (Brayshay & Mulville forthcoming).  in which our findings challenged popular media portrayals of festival culture and festival goers as one of economic and hedonistic excess. We found further resonance with our findings in two papers given at the Inside Festival Cultures Conference (2019) in which Kylie McCormick explored The Liminal Pilgrimage Experience in relation to festival, referencing Victor and Edith Turner’s (1978) hypothesis of the pilgrimage journey as a liminal process involving separation, reconstruction and rebirth. These themes of a transformative journey and liminality were also reiterated by Tim Turner’s referencing of the Hero’s Journey Monomyth (Campbell, 1949, 2004) in his paper A framework for understanding illicit drug use in bounded play spaces. Although there has been some previous work by anthropologists on pilgrimage as a religious right of passage, there is very little research on the notion of pilgrimage in secular contexts. Framing our research around the Heroes Journey Monomyth, we follow in the footsteps of Bilbo Baggins, Luke Skywalker and Harry Potter to explore the experience of festival as a liminal, transformative journey.

There will be a map, stories and a little bit of Tolkien.

Brayshay, B & Mulville, J. (Forthcoming). Festivals – Monument Making, Mythologies and Memory. In eds Maria Nita and Jeremy Kidwell ‘Festival Cultures: Themes, Methodologies and Theoretical Approaches’. Palgrave MacMillan

Campbell, J. (2004) The Hero with a Thousand Faces. Princeton, N.J: Princeton University Press.

Turner, V., Turner. E. (1978) Image and Pilgrimage in Christian Culture. New York: Columbia University Press.

November 20 – 18:00 GMT // London Rock and Pop pilgrimage

Hilary Orange

Join Hilary Orange for a virtual tour around some of the official and unofficial memorials and tributes that have been created by music fans in London. These sites of music pilgrimage are focal points for ongoing remembrance of artists’ lives and work. The tour draws on a longitudinal survey of music sites in London carried out by Hilary Orange and Paul Graves-Brown between 2016 and 2019.

Gary Vikan has said that ‘Unlike the tourist, who goes to places mostly to see, the pilgrim has a distinctly tactile notion of travel.’ Music pilgrimage is tactile and is a form of self-expression that says as much about the pilgrim as the musician. The ongoing creation and recreation of tribute sites, through the selection and transport of objects or the making of art and graffiti, is part of the performance that surrounds music memorials, including the touching, moving and removal of objects from the sites. Pilgrims, fans, and casual visitors also interact with each other of course.  

On this tour of London you’ll have the opportunity to virtually visit and hear about the sites associated with David Bowie, Marc Bolan, and Amy Winehouse. The tour will take around 1.5 hours starting at 6pm GMT. The format will be a reading, a 4 minute film and discussion. 

Join in by adding music pilgrimage locations around the world to this Padlet!!

November 21 – 10:00 GMT // #PilgrimDrift

Sonia Overall

Distance Drifts are remote, synchronised walks hosted weekly by Sonia since the start of UK lockdowns and pandemic restrictions. Held on Sunday mornings, they are designed to get us walking alone together in creative and curious ways.

For Pilgrim CHAT, Sonia will host #PilgrimDrift, sharing a walking score designed to ritually reenchant our everyday surroundings. To join in, you will need a mobile device and a Twitter account.

Walks can be followed in any space, indoors or out. Walk alone or with a companion and connect with other walkers, sharing your finds and responses in an online conversation.

Follow #PilgrimDrift and/or #DistanceDrift to receive live walking prompts from 10am on the day. If you are unable to join in live, you can follow the thread in your own time.


November 22 – 16:00 GMT // Chicago’s (Re)Moving Monuments

Rebecca Graff & Morag Kersel

Monuments, by definition made to endure through the use of durable material or the choice of rendering them in massive scale, counterintuitively involve movement. Usually this involves the movement of people, whether it be through pilgrimage, commemorative performance, or dedications of new monuments. Beginning in 2017 with the protests in Charlottesville, Virginia over the racist materiality of Confederate monuments, US citizens and municipal bodies began a period of monumental movement in the US landscape. In 2021, the Chicago Monuments Project was formed to review and catalogue the city’s extant monumental landscape, to commission new monuments, and ultimately, to make recommendations for the removal of “problematic” monuments. Today, 40 monuments of almost 500 total have been identified by the advisory committee for public dialogue and potential removal. Via mapping and discussion, we explore the monuments of Chicago as a landscape in motion.

November 22 – 9:15 GMT // Moving Sant Iago (performance)

Tracy Breathnach

One of the churches in my parish is St James Church, which serves the parish of Pyle and Kenfig in south Wales, an area of great antiquity. According to their website “a church of the same name served the medieval borough established by the Normans at Kenfig in the 12th century. Whatever is left of it now lies under a sea of sand that destroyed the town in the mid-fifteenth century. The only visible remains of the town is the ruined, lower section of the castle, originally a small tower keep.”

I was raised a Catholic and so I have been surrounded by saints and the worship of saints throughout my childhood. Informed by these early experiences, more recently I have developed a performance practice using Authentic Movement, which founder Janet Adler calls a mystical discipline that supports me to connect to saints in an embodied way.

Every Monday morning throughout November, I will visit the grounds of St James, Sant Iago, in Pyle and create a simple ritual Authentic Movement offering and stream this live to share with the CHAT conference (tech permitting). The movement will last approx. 25 mins followed by 10 min verbal sharing from me about a ‘moment’ which is still with me. My invitation is to know something more about Sant Iago by moving in this place dedicated to him. How might movement in relation to the saint in this place impact me? What are my sensory and energetic phenomenal experiences? What might my small movements in a delineated space in the church grounds leave behind? What is my offering?

November 23 – 16:00 GMT // Archaeological Perspectives on the Recreational Use of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail in New Mexico, USA

Troy Lovata

This project presents—though visual displays and a live, online discussion—research by interdisciplinary undergraduate students exploring archaeological approaches to trails and the recreational use of the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDT). The CDT is the longest, newest, least hiked, and roughest of the United States’ Triple Crown—along with the Appalachian Trail and the Pacific Crest Trail—of iconic, nationally sanctioned thru-hiking trails. The CDT runs some 3000 miles/4800 kilometers up the spine of the Rocky Mountains from America’s southern border with Mexico to it’s northern border with Canada. University of New Mexico undergraduate Honors students in the upper division, annual seminar “The Archaeology of Trails” study the material impact of the ephemeral act of walking by hiking and backpacking/trekking formal trails. They travel portions of the CDT that overlaps the Zuni-Acoma Trail, developed by prehistoric and historic Native Americans, and through the San Pedro Parks Wilderness Area, where the CDT traverses historic trails routes laid out by Hispanic herders and historic recreation. Students from a variety of degree majors—not just studying archaeology or anthropology—consider how archaeological approaches to walking and trails—which focus on finding meaning and centering culture in the act of traveling the landscape—apply to current day recreational hikers. They compare their own experiences on trail to archaeological study of trails and movement in other places and times and use archaeology as perspective to understand why people hike and how it defines them.

Display of student work is to go live online by November 23 at and Zoom-based online discussion of the CDT research will be held at 9:00 am US Mountain Standard Time (UTC/GMT -7 hours) that same day.

November 24 – 12:00 GMT // Does the road go on?

Oscar Aldred

Imagine 200 years into the future: combustion engine vehicles are a relic of the past, and other transportation with a new infra-structure is being used. How will archaeologists in 200 years understand our contemporary mobility systems? In this paper I want to discuss the potential opportunities of looking at past and future mobilities in order to understand the present; what can we learn about our contemporary (walking and vehicle) movement patterns from studying the material traces of past mobility systems? And how well do we think these will translate into the future? What scope is there to think and to practice differently? And what more can we gain from reflecting on mobility from studying the material trace of past, present and (potential) future movements?

What routine journeys do you take? Whether on the road or not, tweet them #CHATontheroad before and during @figgering [Oscar Aldred’s] video and talk ‘Will the road go on?’ And watch @figgering own ‘#CHATontheroad’ pre-recorded [LINK COMING SOON]

November 25 – 9:00 GMT // General session 2

9:00 GMT – Summer comes and summer goes: Anchoring movement through contemporary rock painting in an Australian seaside community

Ursula Frederick

The Nambucca Heads breakwater, colloquially known as the V-wall, is a vibrant place of activity. As a site of great natural beauty on the mid-east coast of Australia, it is popular amongst locals and regional visitors as well as interstate tourists and international travellers. Central to the movement of people is the seawall itself, which forms a corridor for daily walks and platform for rock fishing, as well as a place for sunbathing, cycling, surfing and swimming. The rhythms of daily routine, family road trips and annual holidays that draw people to this location are also reflected in the many acts of vernacular inscription and creativity that enliven its physical setting.

In this paper I discuss a three-year project undertaken to study the accumulation of contemporary rock paintings and altered surfaces that make up the Nambucca Heads V-wall. I explore the content and character of these expressions, and the motivations underpinning their production. The V-wall offers novel insights into contemporary practices of graffiti, particularly the role that unauthorised acts of inscription and creativity may play in the shaping of place and community. Rather than reinforce the common tropes of graffiti – as vandalism, juvenilia, rebellion and anti-social activity – the Nambucca Heads V-wall demonstrates how vernacular mark-making may also work to connect people from different places and build cohesion.

9:30 – Fences, Wraps and Oil Lamps: Examining the Materiality of Refuge in the Pitt Rivers archives

Hadiqa Khan

The museum is an interesting nexus through which one can examine displacement and refuge. Movement, a vital part of displacement, always leaves behind traces and museums have become important actors in the collection and display of these traces – especially in the last decade, following the increased world-wide attention (and debate) on refugees and immigrants. However, the materiality that refuge leaves behind does not exist in a vacuum; it is rich with life, history, stories, narratives – both personal and political.

Material objects and their acquisition into the museum tie individual and group narratives into wider longer term historical narratives of representation and power. The museum is a good fulcrum to understand these longer-term historical and material processes because museums are so clearly implicated in multiple phases of the representation of the people who come to be displaced – museums are implicated in the classification and categorisation of the colonial project, they helped enable and legitimise the objectification of the subjects of colonialism, but then later on they become key sites for representing the crises they helped to initiate. While these later/secondary representations are probably done in good faith to elicit understanding, sympathy and support, they also in some ways represent another colonial act as the museum takes on the role once again of representing the displaced communities. Objects of refuge and displacement in museums materialise this double coloniality.

Through examining objects of refuge and displacement in the Pitt Rivers archives, this paper will discuss the museum’s relationship with refuge, how it represents and engages with the materiality of displacement and the multitude of narratives that this engagement highlights, creates or does not acknowledge.

What kinds of materiality does movement (i.e. pilgrimage, migration, shepherding, travel, and daily movement) leave behind?

Can we trace the immaterial side of mobility through stories, music, or social change?

10:00 GMT – “Gifting” smartphones to homeless people: An assessment of theory and practice

David Lowis

As smartphone penetration in developed economies is moving in the direction of market maturity, smartphones are becoming a precondition for taking part in societal life. Some groups are in danger of being left behind as a result of being less able to gain and retain access to smartphones – and this includes homeless people. The very existence of a digital media access gap between housed and homeless populations is a difficult one to assess. In spite of disagreements in the literature, ethnographically, mobile phone distributions have become a commonplace “catch-all” solution to bridge the digital disconnect(s) which many homeless people experience. This assessment and simultaneous solution was aggravated during the Covid crisis. In this talk, I will try to assess mobile phone distributions through the lens of Marcel Mauss’ „The Gift”: How are smartphone distributions qualitatively different from other in-kind donations? And what are the obligations that come alongside this particular “gift”? As smartphone distributions proliferate, understanding what they “do” in the world, is impossible to ignore.

November 26 – 17:00 GMT // Welcome to the INCAScot Network

INCAScot – Alex Hale, Antonia Thomas, Kenny Brophy, Gavin MacGregor, Rachael Kiddey

Beyond its immediate concerns, the global pandemic has raised questions concerning the contemporary and future relationship between humans and material culture, environmental sustainability, travel, and wellbeing. Ongoing global disruptions include the climate emergency, the manipulation of elections through social media campaigns, ‘fake news’, the decolonisation of the academic curriculum and the expansion of our awareness of bias, racism, landscape injustice and Brexit. These are archaeological issues. They have origins in the past, are being played out in the present and will have significant ramifications for the future. The International Network for Contemporary Archaeology in Scotland (INCAScot) has formed to bring together researchers, activists, and artists to develop new, dynamic approaches to archaeology and heritage research in and on Scotland, to help build resilience and capacity to address these current issues.

So please join INCAScot and your fellow pilgrimCHAT pilgrims for a fun-packed contemporary archaeology (Scotland) quiz! INCAScot is the International Network of Contemporary Archaeology Scotland, an international network of archaeologists, heritage practitioners, academics, and activists who have come together to discuss relationships between the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and important social movements such as Black Lives Matter and environmental concerns – and to think about how, together, we might address such issues. The quiz, specially designed for pilgrimCHAT, will provide a fun introduction to the Network and open up discussion of the issues to a wider audience. For more details about INCAScot, please see this recent article (pages 10-13) and follow us on Twitter @IncaScot #INCAScot

Here’s how the quiz will work: through the magic of Zoom, pilgrims can join INCAScot for a quiz composed of 25 questions about contemporary archaeology in (or related to) Scotland.  Feel free to team up or take part as an individual. The winner of the quiz will receive a huge amount of Tunnocks teacakes in the post! Following the quiz there will be time for discussion and questions about the issues and how to get involved in INCAScot.

November 27 – 9:00 GMT // Blurred futures

Leila Papoli-Yazdi, Mahsa Sabaghi, Omran Garazhian & Fahimeh Tajnia

Short-term contracts, rising rental prices, fragile environmental conditions, and increasing poverty are the main parameters of rapid changes in urban areas of many developing countries. During the last couple of years, immigration to the cities has been intensified due to political conflicts and environmental changes. Nevertheless, the instability of wages has put pressure on the subaltern and poor communities to move constantly between different neighborhoods of the cities. The marginalized areas around the cities are developing quickly, or as we see in the cities like Hong Kong, the growth may even happen vertically and in the form of skyscrapers where the poor live.

One of the most terrible forms of instability that happens as a consequence of extreme poverty when more low-income families and unemployed people are forced to move on or around the landfills, which are the result of drastic consumption attitude of the well-off classes and their intention towards garbage-making.  In Rio, Moscow, Tehran, Cairo, Beijing, and many other megacities of the world, the poor and the middle-class are losing the stability of their life. To find a job, the young generations have to move from city to city and even from country to country. This harsh situation shapes new subcultures, communities, identities, and collections of material culture. Due to their instability, these communities keep only a few essential things and always wonder about the next rental contract and moving process.

Archaeologically speaking, instability and mobilization of the mentioned communities leave a series of material cultures behind: the abandoned villages, trash remained from moving process (such as boxes), developing marginalized areas, re-used items scattered around the ghettos and extremely vulnerable architecture of slums.

Through “Blurred futures,” the authors are going to encourage the participants from different countries to share their experiences about instability, mobility, poverty, the materiality left behind, and the future of the mentioned process with the audience. The participants can present their ideas, experiments, memories, and studies in two forms of Pecha Kucha presentations and zines or posters. Each presentation should not be longer than 20 minutes. The zines (at least three pages) and posters can be made in different forms using painting, writing, collage, printing, and other creative ideas in any language (with a short summary in English).  


There will be 9 presentations of 20 minutes in blocks of 3 with Q&A. Starting at 9:00GMT // 10:30 GMT // 13:30 GMT (with a gap noon to session 3 for lunch).

9:00 GMT // Shirin Taghinezhad :: Not belonging
9:20 GMT // Ally Zlatar :: The Last Yugoslavia
9:40 GMT // Pooya Kazemi Esfehi :: The Survivors: subnarrations

10:30 GMT // Seyyed Bismellah Basam :: Separation
10:50 GMT // Erin Riggs :: Evacuee Property Precarity in Post-Partition Delhi
11:10 GMT // Nazli Dalirnia :: Our house

13:30 GMT // Somayyeh Astani, Seed Baghizadeh :: From a house to another house: What do we lose in the migration?
13:50 GMT // Sakineh Arabnezhad :: Like a Semi-naked body
14:10 GMT // Sahar Salakhi :: To move boxes

*After each block there will be Q&A and discussion.

November 28 – 14:00 GMT // Archaeological Heritages and Mobilities

Tiago Silva Alves Muniz, Monika Stobiecka & Smriti Haricharan

Bodies move, things are in flux, paradigms change. Moving refers to bodily movements, to social movements, migrations, but also meta-movements like the changes between paradigms, the exchange between theories, scholars, disciplines. Although there has been some critique of what is seen as a conflation of archaeology and heritage (Smith and Waterton 2020). The relationship between archaeology and heritage is however complementary and is required for both disciplines to move forward and the ways in which the disciplines are practiced could also separate them from each other.  It can also be said that a lot of the debates on both heritage and archaeology have been led by a Euro American perspective. Theoretical frameworks such as cultural-history or evolutionary models about subsistence have long held their sway on how migration has been perceived worldwide. Through archaeological tools and techniques evidence for contemporary political and ideological agendas gain credence. As heritage is (an entangled) process, the involvement of other archaeologies, flows and things not only stuck in the past, but relevant in the present and perceived as tools for future making may encompass categories of analysis. The general idea of this session is to think through the category of movement (Ingold, 2011). Within archaeology, move may direct our attention to the questions of temporality (time changes, generations come and go). Finally, moving may relate to emotions and affects (Supernant et al. 2020), the ways in which heritage is moving us (Smith 2020). This call aims to debate Mobilities and Archaeology as a tool for assessing the past, its narratives and contemporary politics. Therefore, these are some of the suggested topics:

  1. Movement of people (e. g. migration, diasporas)
  2. Moving thoughts and ideas (e. g. theories, emotions, technologies)
  3. Movement of things (e. g. objects, flows)


1. “Marking the Landscape: Stone monuments on the route of movement of Austro-Asiatic communities in Jharkhand” Himanshu Shekhar

2.  “’Movement and Cultural Heritage Transformation due to Migration among the Tamil and Paris Diaspora Communities” Smriti Haricharan & Jerri Daboo

3. “Masking the Transphobia: A contemporary archaeology of the mask to corona virus” Violet Baudelaire Anzini

4. “The medicines of the forest and perceptions of healing for mental disorders” Karlene Bianca de Oliveira 

5. “Landscapes of mobility and freedom. Marronage in the old province of cartagena de indias, 17th and 18th centuries, Colombia” Johana Caterina Mantilla Oliveros

6. “The flow of rubber seeds in the making of modernity” Tiago Silva Alves Muniz

November 29 – 9:15 GMT // Moving Sant Iago (performance)

Tracy Breathnach

One of the churches in my parish is St James Church, which serves the parish of Pyle and Kenfig in south Wales, an area of great antiquity. According to their website “a church of the same name served the medieval borough established by the Normans at Kenfig in the 12th century. Whatever is left of it now lies under a sea of sand that destroyed the town in the mid-fifteenth century. The only visible remains of the town is the ruined, lower section of the castle, originally a small tower keep.”

I was raised a Catholic and so I have been surrounded by saints and the worship of saints throughout my childhood. Informed by these early experiences, more recently I have developed a performance practice using Authentic Movement, which founder Janet Adler calls a mystical discipline that supports me to connect to saints in an embodied way.

Every Monday morning throughout November, I will visit the grounds of St James, Sant Iago, in Pyle and create a simple ritual Authentic Movement offering and stream this live to share with the CHAT conference (tech permitting). The movement will last approx. 25 mins followed by 10 min verbal sharing from me about a ‘moment’ which is still with me. My invitation is to know something more about Sant Iago by moving in this place dedicated to him. How might movement in relation to the saint in this place impact me? What are my sensory and energetic phenomenal experiences? What might my small movements in a delineated space in the church grounds leave behind? What is my offering?

November 30 – from 10:00 GMT // Surprise closing day!

We have prepared a long day live. It will start with Tracy Breathnach discussing her performances from 10:00 GMT. Then, we will connect live from the streets of Santiago de Compostela to see the hidden ‘treasures’ of the Camino(s), but not the usual ones… small stories of the outskirts that connect with contemporary archaeology, mobility and the old/new Caminos. Do not miss the opportunity!

The afternoon will continue in the streets of Santiago after a lunCHAT (you can keep chatting while having some lunch), from 15:00 and this will lead to the closing un-ceremony, with the presentation of next year’s venue and a metaphorical (for you, real for Jaime) cross of the Holy Gate and maybe a short walk inside the Cathedral if they let us.

From there, the floor (or the screen) will be yours… a long pubCHAT that can include some final remarks about the events of the month and the so missed social component of conferences. We cannot do it in person, but…

So… JOIN US! Like seriously… JOIN US!