Terminalia is a one day festival of walking, space, place and psychogeography on Thursday 23rd Feburary 2017. There will be a number of free events in Leeds and around the world. Terminalia is the festival of Terminus, Roman god of boundaries and landmarks so if there was ever a god and festival for psychogeography this would be it! Events have been run on this day since 2011.
Read here for a review by Phil Kirby of a previous walk: The Culture Vulture: A Drink To The City
If you want to run a walk or event and want to be associated with the festival, let me know and we will add it to the website! It just needs to be free, psychogeographical, open to the public and on 23rd Feb.
Interventions: The Beatings the Bounds walk has space for a few small interventions along the route and at the stones where participants will stop. Drop me a line and we'll chat.Show Events!
6pm Departure from TBA. 2-3 hrs (easy). Bring treats to share, flowers to leave and drinks to keep you warm! With events, interventions, and special performances from local artists. Led by Tim Waters
We will be walking widdershins (anti-clockwise) around the city, visiting the ancient boundary markers that defined the medieval boundaries of the city. Traditionally, feasting and dances were performed during Terminalia at boundary markers, and we will do the same with things with cake, flowers and a drink! The boundary markers around Leeds are called bars (gates, possibly that barred off an entrance) and mark the borders where the city ended and the countryside began. Some stone markers still exist.
Anzir Boodoo will perform a traditional Roman blessing at the city's transport termini. The walk may also visit the new glittering southern entrance to the railway station where an invocation to a Roman river god will be enacted as we stand over the water.More info coming soon
Watch this space. If you have an event you would like included in the festival let me know.
Psychogeography is basically how places make you feel. Places are defined by borders and boundaries, what's there and what isn't. Psychogeography is also about transforming the places where we live. It's about experiencing the urban environment in other ways. It's a reaction against the prescribed, officially allowed uses of places - that of consumption, entertainment, transit, habitation. It seeks towards a transformation of the everyday. It offers a critique of urban planning. It is a form of play. It's the poetry of place. It's the effect of an area on your emotions and thoughts.
By doing psychogeography, by walking across places and spaces in a different way, we may learn three new things: About the places themselves, about ourselves and how we relate to these particular spaces, and about space and place in general with possibly seeing a glimmer of whats really going on there.
If ever there was a god of psychogeography, Terminus would be it, and Terminalia would be our feast day. The Festival of Terminalia has therefore been adopted by us! It is about the boundaries and borders, real, historical, fictional and imagined. Places of beginnings, endings and thresholds.
"Neighbours gather sincerely, and hold a feast, And sing your praises, sacred Terminus: You set bounds to peoples, cities, great kingdoms: Without you every field would be disputed."
Terminus was one of the really old Roman gods - he didn't have a statue, he was a stone marker - and his origin, associated with a physical object, and lack of the usual stories that go with the gods, may have originated from animalistic religions. He had influence over less physical boundaries too, like that between two months, or between two groups of people. Terminalia was celebrated on the 23rd February - which was the last day of the Roman Year, the boundary between two new years.
A squared-off column is dug into the ground, a solid block; on it stands a bust of a man with ringlets, and proclaims he yields to no one. Such is Terminus; this end alone drives our race. The date is unmovable, the time foreordained by fates, and the last days bring a judgment on the first
Traditionally, feasting and sacrifices were performed during Terminalia at boundary markers. In Roman times for the festival the two owners of adjacent property crowned the statue with garlands and raised a rude altar, on which they offered up some corn, honeycombs, and wine, and sacrificed a lamb or a sucking pig. They concluded with singing the praises of the god.