Project Description

Ten Thousand Steps around the World 2022

Ten Thousand Steps was a one-day arts and walking festival conceived by Lingua Franca World Community CIC as the first of a series of events under the banner of the Mother Earth Festival. It was produced in partnership with Northern Roots, a developing 160-acre urban farm and eco-park based in the centre of Oldham. We commissioned 10 artists from a variety of art forms and cultural backgrounds to respond to the theme Human: Nature.

The selected artists were;

  1. Anya Midolajczuk – a Polish sculptor living in Oldham, who created a series of female totems from tree trunks and cut branches.
  2. Musicians Papa Sam Alafia and ZoZo from Sierra Leone, who delivered a participatory African singing and storytelling experience
  3. Rebecca May and Michael Wild from May Wild Studios. They produced a series of jesmonite ceramic designs based on the local flora.
  4. Louise Fazackerly aka Louise the Poet– a spoken word artist from Wigan who delivered a 10-minute themed poetry performance in a costume of recycled materials
  5. Lynda Sterling a visual artist from Old Trafford who developed an installation looking at the shapes formed by woodland trees.
  6. El Condor musicians Vladimir Cativo from El Salvador and Gary Garamendi from Peru, who played traditional music from the indigenous peoples of Latin America and spoke about the origins of the instruments and sounds.
  7. Jali Nyonkoling Kuyateh – a kora player from the Gambia.
  8. Anna F C Smith and Helen Mather, who launched the Modern Botanical Society of Greater Manchester with a talk and beautifully designed membership packs for walkers.
  9. Gordan Banks who produced an interactive tree house in the woodlands
  10. Emily Seville who created a series of hanging pendants and hung them in the woodlands as a shrine to Nature.

We ran the event in conjunction with the GM Walking Festival and Northern Roots extensively marketed the event on their website and social media with a view of registering four groups of up to 18 walkers to participate in the free festival on Saturday 28 May 2022.

The event was considered a great success by artists, walkers and the Northern Roots team.

Comments included:

A breath of fresh air.

Beautiful and inspiring – more please!

Really good – exceeded expectations. Many thanks all.

Learned so much – brilliant!

We were surprised by the local children who heard our sweet sounds and ran out to find out what was going on. We were glad they could enjoy it too! Papa Sam Alafia, Artist

The atmosphere created by staff and audiences was so lovely and made for such a special experience. Emily Seville, Artist

It was a really well-produced event, blessed by fabulous weather and wonderful artists. Kimo Morrison, Communications, Arts & Engagement Lead, Northern Roots