Flowalking ~ Soča

Durational walking action in space over time / 2020
In collaboration with Metod Blejec

Exhibited: 13. – 25. 10.2020, Cultural hub Carinarnica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia

The project Flowalking ~ Soča traces the river from its spring in Trenta valley (Slovenia) to its outflow in the Gulf of Trieste (Italy). Walking the length of Soča, a 138 km Alpine river, lead Metod and Una along a 156 km journey over 6 days in September 2020.
Soča river—a natural border surrounded by mountain peaks where cultures collide—holds a special significance and importance culturally and historically. Recent anthropological research uncovered the region’s deep spiritual significance. Isolated in the remote valleys surrounded by mountains it was the stronghold of the region’s pre-Christian beliefs practiced well into the modern era. However, the region is better known for its dark times in history, which has been disputed in both the first and the second world wars.
Flowing from the high mountain region in Slovenian Julian Alps to the flats of northeastern Italy, Soča (a feminine), shifts into Isonzo (a masculine) at the border. With gentle energy at its spring, Soča turns into a fast mountain river and as she advances into a raging white water at its peak. Later, Soča transforms once more, slowing down in a stern stagnant flow downstream before it is released into the Adriatic sea. Today, Soča is muted due to a series of dams and adjacent industry. It is thus not only known for its unparalleled beauty and adventure sport activities upstream, but also for accumulation, stagnation, interruption, pollution and gross mismanagement downstream, which can be attributed to the lack of vision for the future by governments and big business.
Wanting to immerse into Soča river, Metod and Una thought the best way to do so would be to walk along it, drink it, listen to it, observe it, record it, explore it in close proximity and while doing so question: what importance does Soča carry for them, for us all, for the future generations? And in regard to it, how will we act in the future? In Flowalking ~ Soča authors offer a documented map of their journey while stimulating the viewer’s sensory experience through various media in their hope to burst a torrent of questions.

The Flowalking (currently imagined as a diptych project) emerges from the idea of journeying along river Una (flowing along the border with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina), one of the most captivating rivers in the Dinar mountain range. Pairing Una with its Slovenian-Italian counterpart, Soča becomes the first edition. Flowalking ~ Soča, therefore, is a debut of a larger project of journeying along river flows that defy geography, history and cultures.

Flowalking ~ Soča would not be the same without our great friend Ana Geršak who helped us logistically, with company, transportation and accommodation along the way. We are also grateful to Lev Fišer for helping us bring a presentation of this project to the Cultural hub Carinarnica in Nova Gorica, Slovenia (13. – 25. 10.2020), to Bojan Radovič from Luminus studio, Novo Mesto, Slovenia for the printing services, and the School of Arts, University of Nova Gorica, Slovenia for technical support at the show in Carinarnica. Thank you all.

Images and documentation by Metod & Una.