Holding your hand out to a stranger

People taking part in Rosana Cade's event Walking:Holding
People taking part in Rosana Cade's event Walking:Holding
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Walking along the street holding hands is such an everyday event for many of us, but what about with a total stranger?

Artist Rosana Cade is bringing her interactive street performance, Walking:Holding, to Doncaster next month.

Rosana said: “It is a simple idea but I suppose there’s a lot to it. I came up with it five years ago.

“For a long time I’d been making work that explored issues around gender and sexuality, based on my own experiences of being gay.”

She realised that all her work took place in ‘safe’ spaces like art galleries.

“When I stepped outside into Glasgow, where I live, there’s a different atmosphere when you’re out on the street.

“I wanted to make something in a space where there are tensions. I started by holding hands in a same sex couple, then a mixed sex couple, and seeing what the difference was. It felt like there was a difference.”

Eventually, Rosana began her experiment of a piece for an audience of one, where they walk around the town centre with a series of six different people.

They are all locals recruited to take part in the show.

Rosana said that it’s interesting to do something as intimate as holding hands with someone you just met.

It’s meant that people have much more intense conversations than if they just walked together, side by side.

She said: “We’ve had times like a few years ago with a man who is a cross-dresser who walked through a supermarket several times.

“On the first day he was wearing men’s clothes and on the second day he cross-dressed and was thrown out and banned from the supermarket .

“We had a gay couple in another supermarket thrown out for holding hands last week.”

It’s not just about sexuality, either – some of the participants have had disabilities, giving the audience member a first-hand view of what it’s like to navigate streets as a blind person, for example.

Rosana said: “It’s very interesting to see your town from the point of view of another person.”

Walking:Holding is coming to Doncaster town centre on September 3 and 4, in conjunction with community arts project Right Up Our Street as part of the DNweekeND festival.

If you want to volunteer to take part in the performance as someone that people walk with, email karl_taylor92@hotmail.com for more details.

To book, sign up at the Shed on Doncaster Market Place.

The tours are free and run from 11am to 1.30pm and 2pm to 5pm on both days.

For further information, visit DNWeekend