Composting #14: Theory in the Mud (Walkshop)

Thursday January 19, 2017 | A COMPOSTING hike, swim, picnic and … mobile walkshop! | Facilitated by Astrida Neimanis

I work with and in sf [speculative fabulation, science fiction, science fact, speculative feminism, soin de ficelle] as material-semiotic composting, as theory in the mud, as muddle.”
– Donna Haraway, Staying with the Trouble

A summary of the trip, written by Jennifer Mae Hamilton, is on The Seed Box blog

WHERE: Meet at Heathcote railway station at 11 am (it’s about 45 min on the T4 from Central, Redfern or Sydenham). We will likely return to Sydney around 4 or 5 pm, but you can stay as long as you like!

WHAT: HIKE/SWIM/PICNIC. From Heathcote station, we will hike to a secret swimming hole on the Kangaroo Creek – a 100 m clear and deep pool known as Olympic Pool.* There are plenty of large flat rocks for picnicking on. We would rate the hike as “medium” grade difficulty  (Astrida’s then-5 year old has done it several times, as has Jen’s septogenarian mother; some parts are through scratchy bush, and the ascent will make you break a good sweat,  even if you are reasonably fit); it will take around 90 minutes each way, depending how often we stop for walkshop contributions.

WHAT: MOBILE WALKSHOP. Please come prepared to read out to the group a 1-3 minute presentation. It might be a short provocation or essay by you; it might be a poem or another short piece of writing by someone else. Or perhaps you will be even more creatively-minded than that! The THEME/TOPIC of the day is: “Theory in the mud.” Interpret as you wish! We will call on our hikers to present their readings at intervals along the walk, and at the swimming hole.

BRING: Shoes for walking, sunscreen, hat, swimmers, potluck picnic to share (and utensils, cups, etc as needed), your presentation, camera or other documentation device.

INVITE: human significant others and companion species! (friends, partners, children, random but interesting looking strangers). If you would like to bring a dog please check the regulations for the Royal National Park at Heathcote.

OPTIONAL READING: Chapter 8 of Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: “The Camille Stories: Children of the Compost”

RAIN DATE: Wednesday 25 Jan (We will call it, if needed, via email by 7 am on the 19th)

Please RSVP to composting email ( by Jan 15 just so we have a sense of numbers!

Hope to see you there!

*Olympic Pool is NOT Karloo Pools, which are well-signed. To get to Olympic pool, our hike will follow E Heathcote Trail from the station, along the east side of town. We will turn right at Bottle Forest road, and take the first right again those goes on an unnamed trail toward the river (it is a bit steep going down, but it is a proper path). We join with an unmarked trail that goes along the west bank of the creek, and go north for about 10 or 15 minutes til we hit (the very obvious, very large) Olympic Pool. We will return along the Karloo Pools walking track, which is a less steep, and very picturesque, ascent back to the station.

Image credit: David K, Mud, CC BY-SA 2.0

Walkshop Snaps


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