Exercise: Unsafe


What are we doing?

You will journal about a fictional walk inspired by where you would imagine feeling unsafe walking.

Why are we doing it?

These are exercises in brainstorming and creativity. These proposed walking exercises (A Walk I Will Not Make), are thought-experiments we execute mentally/intellectually (we sketch or write/journal about them), but we do not execute them in real life due to some sort of restriction or other reason – perhaps geographical, ethical, monetary, length, scale, people involved, etc. Students are encouraged to think outside the limits one normally imposes on oneself (cost, time-period, scale, materials used, contexts involved, subject matter, gravity, etc.).

How are we doing it?

Journal about a walk you will not make through an area, or time, you do not feel safe in.

This exercise is inspired very specifically by Trina Fernandez’ personal reflections:

“I think about walks I won’t make everyday. Not owning a car has put me under restrictions of time and safety. As a woman it feels unsafe to walk late at night, as a person of color I have to be cognizant of the routes I take – which neighborhoods will give me less hassle and confused stares. It’s during these walks that I have to acknowledge the privilege I have as well: to be able to walk – uneven pavements, gravel, and stairs are no problem for me. Being a lighter skin tone also affords me leniency in certain places.

With the recent murder of George Floyd here in Minneapolis and the protests that followed suit, I remember watching in horror on the television as tear gas was shot at peaceful protesters outside of my window, and the confusing guilt I felt for not participating in the march for solidarity. That walk that took place two blocks from my house is one I will not make because my fear kept me home. “