A Place to be Real Together

>> Counter Tourist 2022 July

What is CT (counter tourism)? Well, you interact with your surroundings in unexpected ways.

If going to a castle, why not arrive with cardboard helmets and shields (made back at Othona) to wear? Or make prolonged eye contact with all the statues?

You could search for and photograph plants that are growing where they’re not meant to. Or find places to lie down ‘surreptitiously’.

Lovers of counter tourism see this not just as zany play, but a way of seeing much-visited places with fresh eyes. Getting a less sanitised, less ‘official’, view of place and history.

This is not about leaving graffiti or damaging anything. The golden rule of CT is that what we do must not upset the enjoyment of other visitors.

Andy Howlett and Liberty Rowley are CT enthusiasts. Together they lead unconventional walks in and around urban Birmingham. Video Strolls shows examples of this approach to walking. Andy has previously led film-making activities with young people at Othona.

They will propose the outings and encourage us to approach them creatively. They also offer a film evening and a talk about the deeper theory of counter tourism. More info at  www.countertourism.net

Remember: all the outings and any engagement in CT action are optional, not obligatory.