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Mihret Kebede

Slow Marathon

2012

The Ba’Hill, the Battlehill, the Clashmach and the Bin,
They all form a circle and Addis lies within.
Traditional
A 5,850 miles walk from Addis to Scotland and back

Ethiopian artist Mihret Kebede visited Huntly in Winter 2012.

Today we aim to pay attention to our carbon footprint caused by air travel. For some this is expensive and difficult, for others impossible, impacting on their right to mobility. Mihret would have liked to walk the 5,850 miles from her home in Addis Ababa to Aberdeenshire. However the physical difficulties of navigating through the deserts, let alone the closed borders and visa restrictions make such a feat almost impossible.

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Instead, in order for her to accumulate the 5,850 miles from Addis to Huntly, Mihret calculated that she would need a total of 225 people to walk a marathon of 26 miles - each way. To achieve this goal she organised with us a Slow Marathon around Huntly, with a parallel walking event in Addis Ababa on the next day to bring her back home: 225 people x 26 miles = 5,850 miles distance

In the run up to this, and in collaboration with Norma D Hunter, she organised training sessions and other walking actions that brought people locally and from all over the world together to contribute to the total distance target. A shoelace exchange between Huntly and Ethiopian walkers was part of the process: Multiple world record holder and patron for the event, Haile Gebrselassie's shoelaces travelled to Huntly for an exchange with one of the participants.

The event was complemented by a discussion entitled Walk sans Frontières, chaired by Deirdre Heddon

Slow Marathon is now an annual weekend event composed of a conceptually led walk, expanding upon a theme or an idea related to our curated programme, in effect taking it for a walk; followed by a day of talks, films, food and discussion, in relation to the chosen project. 

Shadow CuratorTessa Jackson

          

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