Walking Tours

“Whole countries market themselves as the world’s largest open air museum.”    

-Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett



A walking tour is a curated space, whether it is a neighbourhood or an entire city.   Choices must be made about how to frame sites, what time periods to highlight, whose stories to tell, what boundaries to draw.

A Curatorial Dream workshop is a tool for the analysis of established tours – such as those marketed by tourism associations. Workshop participants read against the grain as they follow an established tour, to find clues as to how and why it has been constructed in a certain way.

This pedagogical exercise is instructive to students of culture and history, as well as to museum professionals and community groups who want to propose alternative visions of a neighbourhood, a city, a community, or local social issues.

Active participation and constructive criticism are key ingredients in Curatorial Dream workshops. In walking tours, participants contribute new images, frames, narratives, questions, and sources into established tourism routes. The generative workshop produces an alternative, “pop-up exhibition” that can be applied to future projects, such as community organizing and outreach and alternative heritage projects.