Many of us have experienced nights of partying, of insomnia, or of working hours stretched deep into the night. Many of us have experienced the city of the many: the noises of public transport, the hurrying crowds. But how does the city of silence feel? What remains unseen during daytime, what are the unknown paths? A report from an interactive night walk to discover the undiscovered and walk the unwalkable, sharing the experience of three out of the many walkers.
Finally, I am taking a break. There is an entire night to press PAUSE for a change and I am glad. We are lying in front of the open-air planetarium looking at the sky, all unified by listening to music through our headphones. My mind is rested, my body doesn't fear the cold. I am enjoying the company of 12 other night wanderers I just met for the first time, as bizarre as it sounds. The weight of 13 mobile phones in my bag: around 2070 grams. I am wondering if they weigh less when they are ringing, vibrating and being alive. I am just following the others, climbing fence after fence, crossing the site of a kindergarten. I am a trespasser for no reason. It feels as good as getting back to the public street. I see someone in bad shape, saliva dripping from the corner of his mouth to the floor. He himself almost on the floor. Stay or go? We try talking to him, he remains silent. We grab him under his armpits and sit him up on a wall. He is heavy and smells of too many things. Not sure if he is happy now, sitting. We leave him a blanket, water and an apple. He breaks the apple in two halves and offers me one. I embrace the idea of making this a moment of shared experience. A few hundred meters later I have forgotten about him and we are writing poems under the statue of a polar bear. I have not the slightest clue where we are or where we will end up. Initially feeling like I was with a company, I now feel part of it. A big long road going towards the city. We walk it for hours jumping from one conversation to another and hoping it leads us into the right direction. My mind is twitchy, my body tired, my legs are swelling up from the long walk in the cold. I am wearing the wrong pants. A row of possible shooting targets are reflecting in the night. We stop and try to draw a map of our way so far. Now it feels safer, I know where we are. I see a circle of people whispering into each other’s ears. It creates an offbeat sound. Secrets are being unveiled. It’s 2 o’clock and I’ve just learned someone’s intimate secret. It is still going through my head months later. Are we closer to each other now? Do I know her better? I can see the first “regular” person walking on the street, it’s 4 o’clock in the morning. She is on her way to work. We ask for directions and forget them the next minute.
- November 2019
- Sebastian Kraner
- Peter Oroszlany
- Alessia Scuderi