WOMEN WALKING IN MEMPHIS
This proposition walks with the multiplicity of women who walk in Memphis, the women with whom we walk everyday. We turn our photographic lenses toward the shoes of Memphian women to explore Manning and Massumi’s (2014) statement “Movement’s making is corporeogenic: becoming-body” (p. 39) and disrupt Marc Cohn’s (1991) “Walking in Memphis,” arguably one of the most famous songs about Memphis, Tennessee.
Memphis and Delta women are much more than Cohn’s description of a pretty little thing waiting for Elvis in shag-carpeted lounges or a Friday-night pianist who asks men if they are Christians in a small cafe along the Blues Trail. As we and other women walk in Memphis, we learn and unlearn ourselves as our feet navigate uneven sidewalks, inclines, different floor textures, and so on.
With each step, we become-body, become women. Each of these becomings usually happen with two important nonhumans, a pair of shoes. As we walk-become in our shoes, we will use our smartphones to take photographs of the shoes of other women-walking-becoming in Memphis. Our focus on women’s shoes temporarily paused in walking-moving-becoming creates a space to explore the vital multiplicity of women who walk-move-become in Memphis everyday.
Cohn, M. (1991). Walking in Memphis. On Marc Cohn. [CD] Los Angeles: Atlantic Records.
Manning, E. & Massumi, M. (2014). Thought in the act: Passages in the ecology of experience. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.