Walking the Debris Field: A Natural History (December 6, 2015)

On December 6, 2015, the 98th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion, NiS+TS conducted Walking the Debris Field “A Natural History,” for more than 100 people. This public walk art event considered the flora, fauna, terrain and people affected by the Explosion.

The group started at the community garden behind the Devonshire Arena in Halifax, moved across the Richmond slope (the Halifax neighbourhood most severely devastated by the explosion) into the Hydrostone neighbourhood built during the reconstruction effort, and then to Mulgrave Park. An experience in the present, the walk mapped some of the narratives and artifacts from the past. Participants used mobile media to create their own traces to add to the record of the 1917 disaster.

It was an incredible experience to have so many people come out to share stories, explore aged trees with Peter Duinker, listen to Catherine Martin tell the sory of a Mi’kmaq boy who had not survived, and visit the former Richmond School – now the Nova Scotia Family Court. James MacLean led the group through several creative explorations of the sites we visited. Participants were lucky to wear the lovely tussie-mussies created by artist Laura Forrester, and filled by so many volunteers at Wonder’Neath Studio. Angela Henderson created the architectural model of the Roome Street School that was burned. The walk’s “Arthur Lismer” (Madeleine Putnam) contributed several new sketches during the session. Madeleine Peet played a ghostly figure also featured in the images in the Family Court.

Please view this brochure provided for participants before the walk: “Walking the Debris Field – A Natural History”, containing a map of the route taken and detailed itinerary.

Check out this video for a few more highlights: “Narratives in Space + Time Society: December 6, 2015”