Eight Breaths

8 Breaths

Katherine McGavin and Mariana Galan Tanes are two post-graduate students studiying Social Sculpture at Oxford Brookes University.  Together they have created an imaginative way to raise people’s awreness of the importance of good air quality, as well as equipping people with the tools to go out and improve it.

8 Breaths they describe as an “Alternative walking tour of Oxford in which you journey through prast, present and future to dbate one of the critical challenges of our time.” 

Equipped with pieces of coal and a mask, participants walk along a route stopping at various points, some of which have a considerable historical reputtion and others that are more mundane.  Invited to take deep breaths, close your eyes, and imagine places and spaces during different eras and across continents, they guide you to a better understanding of how we are interconncted with each other and with thsoe who have gone before us and those that will folllow us.

The tour ends with a call to action and an opportunity to reflect on what one has dicovered and experienced along the route, as well as sharing tools empowering you to improve air quality.

The UK lags behind many countries in efforts to reduce air pollution, failing to reach EU standards, with many cities and provincial towns having as bad air as metropolitan London.  Oxford is revealed as a poor performer too.

Listen to Katherine and Mariana chat to Andrew Stuck, from Rethinking Cities, on the latest episode of Talking Walking.  And should you be in Oxford, why not join an 8 Breaths tour.

This article first appeared on the Rethinking Cities website.