Walk Listen Cafe – A Topos of Return: Prespa

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Date(s) - 21/07/2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


On April 28 2020, walk · listen · create (that the Museum of Walking co-produces) introduced walk · listen · café, a bi-weekly (once every two weeks) online meeting for creatives in the fields of walking and art. Every ‘café’ lasts between 1 and 2 hours, is headed by an expert introducing a specialist topic (acts as a ‘host’), and followed by an open discussion on the topic at hand.

Online meetings are hosted through Zoom or  Jitsi Participants are sent the conference link shortly before the event kicks off. To cover expenses and provide a small gift for the expert, and because we are also trying to find our own way, participation costs a low 3 euros.

These are interesting times; many have little choice but to stay at home, while many others have no choice but to go out and do the work we have discovered is essential to see society continue along nominal lines.

Walk Listen Cafe online get-together, where an expert introduces a particular topic relevant to the fields of walking will take place on Tuesday 21 July co-hosted by Ioannis Ziogas and Geert Vermeire. This is followed by a moderated discussion on the subject of the meeting, which will last between 1 and 2 hours.


What are the places of personal return?
Who is returning? Where?
How is the need for return connected to walking?
Can we stay motionless and still return?
What do we experience when we walk intending to return?
How different are the walking steps, when they are part of a returning process?
How is the walking body transformed by return?


Return often and take me,
beloved sensation, return and take me –
when the memory of the body awakens,
and old desire runs again through the blood;
when the lips and the skin remember,
and the hands feel as if they touch again.

Return often and take me at night,
when the lips and the skin remember…

C. P. Cavafy

A ‘topos (locus) of Return’ is a place that becomes persistent in one’s memory and body. A place becomes a topos of Return when it attains a strong experiential affinity to the viewer and initiates a strong need to go back to it again. It could be any return: physical, mental, or synaesthetic. It seems that a place becomes a topos of Return when it is a space of conceptual and intellectual synaesthesia. However, many questions remain open;What is a “place”? When is it transformed into topos? When is the decisive moment when a place becomes in one’s existence a locus? To what extent and with what are the words “topos” and “return” different? What does it mean to walk into a place and experience it for the first time? What can the concept of return become significant? Is there more than one place of return for each one of us? How is walking coming into this process?

Prespa is a location in Macedonia, Greece that has become the final outpost of my artistic itinerary. Ι have taken the steep walk from Florina to Prespes (70km) several times over the last fourteen years. The need to undertake this journey derived from my need to revisit Prespa, my topos of Return.

Who is Ioannis Ziogas?

Yannis Ziogas was born in Thessaloniki (Greece, 1962). His main visual practices are painting, installation work and walking. He is Dean and Associate Professor at the Department of Fine and Applied Arts, School of Visual Arts, University of Western Macedonia.
He studied Math (BS University of Athens) and received his Master’s in Fine Arts at the School of Visual Arts (1991) in New York; He holds a Ph.D. from the University of the Aegean (2013).

Yannis has realised twenty-two solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and internationally. He has worked in residencies in New York and taught as a visiting lecturer in many Universities in Greece and abroad.
His work has been reviewed nationally and internationally (New York Times, Artnews, Sculpture, Giornalle dell’ arte).

To book please visit the Walk Listen Create website here

Featured image: Yannis Ziogas, Watching the sunrise in Daseri, Prespa, 2020

Poem by Cavafy: From ‘The Complete Poems of C.P. Cavafy’, by C. P. Cavafy, translated by Rae Dalven (W.H. Auden, New York 1961.) Retrieved: https://www.thepoetryexchange.co.uk/return-by-c-p-cavafy  (June 26th 2020)


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