Jessica Starns: Walk With Me

On 11 November 2020, shielders and other people whose lives have been severely restricted by Covid-19 were invited to share their special places or places they would like to visit with Jessica Starns — and later the audience — using Google Street View and Zoom to take a virtual walk together. Jessica carried out the necessary research, provided software support, facilitated the walks via screen sharing, and recorded and edited them. Jessica has dyspraxia and uses Google Street View to memorise new routes and places. She explains: “I also use Google Street View with my grandfather to go on walks around his hometown in Ireland — a place I still haven’t had the opportunity to visit. I would like to capture ‘virtual walks’ with participants of places that are important to them or places they would like to visit.” Join Jessica and her companions as they walk in Newham, New Zealand, the American South and Chile.

Jessica accompanies Hannah Facey and Sterre Ploeger back home to Newham – they are currently shielding in rural Norfolk – to meet up with Sterre’s parents for a virtual cycle ride.

Jessica accompanies Ruth Lampard to New Zealand.

Jessica accompanies Together! 2012 CIC Chair Julie Newman on her return to Lynchburg in the US, where as an immigrant in the early 1960s she attended the first High School to be racially integrated.

Jessica accompanies members of Act Up! Newham theatre company to Chile. Act Up! Newham present their online collaboration with Los Inseparables in Chile, I am Toni…Who am I? as part of the Making History Together! 2020 Festival.

Jessica talks to artist Hazel Brill after Walk With Me was completed for the Together Unlocked! live stream on 2 December 2020. 

Jessica Starns introduces Walk With Me and answers questions on the Together Unlocked! live stream on Wednesday 11 November 2020.

Jessica recently completed an Inclusive Arts Practice MA at the University of Brighton and previously completed a BA (Hons) in Photography. She has been working with young people at various organisations including The Prince’s Trust, The Challenge, National Youth Agency, Geffrye Museum, Design Museum and the British Museum.

In July 2020 Jessica produced a sound installation with the support of Unlimited commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Education (Handicapped Children) Act 1970, which first gave limited rights to Disabled children to attend school.

PhakamaJessica Starns’ virtual walks project has also been supported by Phakama 

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