Thursday, December 4, 2008

Safe Identities?

People, place and identity

The next GG action is planned for Saturday 24th January, to coincide with ‘Engaging Geography’ (see ). It will take place in Newcastle-upon-Tyne city centre, 3-5pm … details of meeting point will be posted nearer the time.

This event is intended to raise questions and promote debate around the introduction of identity cards in the UK, and their impact on people’s everyday geographies. Members of the public will be offered ‘free identity cards’: one side listing some of the information that will be included on the cards, to invite the public to think about the implications of this (eg. going to a ‘biometric enrolment centre’ to be fingerprinted); the other side listing some broader questions/issues around space, place, citizenship …eg "Can you trust the government of 20 years from now?"

Please come and join us, whether you want to come to some or all of the engaging geography event (at the Star and Shadow cinema in Newcastle) or not …

RSVP in the Guerrilla Geography Facebook group.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Manchester: Beyond Naughtiness

Start Time:
Friday, June 20, 2008 at 5:00pm
End Time:
Sunday, June 22, 2008 at 5:00pm
Manchester, United Kingdom

The next major Guerrilla Geography event is being held in Manchester on Saturday 21st June to coincide with the TRIP conference ( In this event the public will be asked to (anonymously) give information about a naughty memory within Manchester city centre. The place of this event will be recorded onto a map, and the details of the event will be recorded by audio device. Ultimately this information will be used to map the geography of naughtiness within Manchester: a direct link between public activity and geographical thinking. It is hoped that the map and information will be displayed as a piece of conceptual art in time for the GA conference 2009 in Manchester.

There will be cheap accommodation on the Friday and Satuday evenings, and rural exploration and rambling on the Sunday.

You are welcome to come to some of this, all of this or none of this(and then lie and say you were cool and that you did and it was great).

Full details on Facebook...

Friday, March 14, 2008


A few weeks back Guerrilla Geographers started up a group on Facebook called 'We're going to change Britain.' A few weeks later the group is nearly 50,000 strong and off the back of this geographical conversation and campaign we entered Upstaged, a talent show on BBC 3 in which you are given 6 hours to out perform another act on a sister stage. See how we got on here and watch additional clips of our efforts in the news archive for Tuesday the 11th of March.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

1st British Waterboarding Championships

In direct response to the recent debate around if Waterboarding is torture, guerrilla geographers inverted the practice into a competitive sport and held the first British Waterboarding Championships in central London last Saturday.

Two teams entered the competition with one single aim... to see who could stand being Waterboarded the longest in a head to head knock-out challenge. The Blue Team and Black Team, both made up of Guerrilla Geographers took turns in being boarded by the opposition as competitors had two turns to see how long they could last. At first both teams struggled to make even 30 seconds, but by the end of the day some competitors lasted nearly a full minute.

The embassy of the United States of America was the backdrop to the first round of the competition. Competitors took turns in having a wet cloth stuffed into their mouth and over their nose before having water poured onto their faces continually until they tapped the ground to show that they could last no longer. As they breathed water through their noses and into their lungs each competitor found it harder and harder to beat their rival. Unlike secret, invisible and private Waterboarding carried out by security serivces - the competitors could stop when they wanted and knew that they were in control of the situation. Despite this, all of the competitors felt fear and panic as their bodies were slowly starved of oxygen.

The Guerrilla Geographers are now calling for Waterboarding to become a recognised Olympic sport ready for the 2012 games in London. A spokesman for the movement said "Part of the reason why London was awarded the 2012 Olympic games was the innovative use of iconic locations for the sporting events such as Horse Guards for the Volleyball. Grosvenor's Square, home to the US Embassy or Millbank opposite MI6 were home to our championships and would serve as ideal locations for the 2012 games." The geographers are hoping to have support of the present United States government which is openly supportive of Waterborading.

All photographs by Bruno Vincent

For a full justification of the competition, read Jon Cloke's call for participation.

Guerrilla Geographers... forcing people to see our world(s) in new ways

Thursday, February 21, 2008

BBC (up)staged Guerrilla Geography?

We're having a crack at taking over a stage on the new BBC 3 programme upstaged. We're focusing on recruiting 2 million people to be more friendly to each other on journeys and generally around the place, but we'll also be getting up to some good psychogeography guerrilla fun. We'd be delighted to here your ideas and even more delighted if you would sign into the Upstaged website, become our fan, vote for our video and get us unto the show!'re+going+to+change+Britain.

If you're a geographer and have something to bring to the stage do let us know at We need geographers to go out and do some urban exploration, attempt to be friendly to the public and speak to us about why it is that some places in the country are just so much more friendly than others....

Friday, February 15, 2008



As Sibley has emphasized, ‘outsiders’ cannot be understood in isolation: the interactions between the ‘mainstream’ society and outsiders and the spaces into which each is allowed are important because they are important representations of how we see our selves - in this respect at least the construction of the ‘terrorist’ is no different from the ‘poor’, the ‘homeless’. An identity politics perspective on ‘The War on Terrorism’, therefore, seeks to theorize iconic (as opposed to ‘lived’) Terrorism by basing it not only on the experiences of injustice associated with the identity of those excluded as ‘terrorists’, but on the insight Terrorism gives us into the performed identities of the ‘Just’.

Since the attack on the World Trade Centre, the expansion of a range of highly masculinized terms such as ‘terrorist sympathizers’ and ‘enablers’ has allowed the exclusionary terminology of an Unending War on Terrorism to encroach rapidly on hitherto acceptable forms of civic participation and public behaviour in at least nominally public and democratic spaces, physical and cyber. The immanent, not to say Manichaean properties of a voracious other, Terrorism, have been instrumentalized to urge the necessity for forms of sexualized, priapic behaviour deemed pre-9/11 to be unacceptable (extraordinary rendition (sexual abduction), torture (forced penetration)), raising a number of interesting questions about the public and the private, the acceptable and the unacceptable. As Said put it:

“Just as none of us is outside or beyond geography, none of us is completely free from the struggle over geography. That struggle is complex an interesting because it is not only about soldiers and cannons but also about ideas, about forms, about images and imaginings.” (Said, 1993: 7)

The current forms of behaviour that are defined as Terrorism are geo-spatial behaviours sanctified in the past as an important part of the national mythology of at least some of the G8 countries and their geo-political allies, leaving one to ask: Is the ‘problem’ of Terrorism less that it is in some way deviant, but that it is mainstream behaviour carried out in deviant geo-political space? Does the deviant nature of this ‘other’ behaviour also intensify performances of sexualised masculinity which allow the private to subordinate the public? Is torture an act in which the deviant terrorist is forced into a submissive, feminized role and malestream liberal democracy can hold up a mirror in which to admire its masculinity?

With these and other interesting questions in mind, Guerilla Geographers will be seeking to invert the norm by performing waterboarding in a number of iconic public spaces in London on March 1st in Russell Sq at 1pm, thus (hopefully) challenging accepted public/private divides, asking the public to comment on and think about the ‘acceptable’ and pushing at the barriers of the legally acceptable versus the privately unaccountable.

NB For those who are unaware of what waterboarding involves, please watch the 10-minute video-clip at of someone being (voluntarily) waterboarded.

Contacts: Jon Cloke and Daniel Raven-Ellison,Co-administrators,
Guerilla Geography

Saturday, February 9, 2008

LONDON 01.03.08

Do you have any ideas to get people questioning their space(s)?

Taking place on the 1st of March the LONDON Guerrilla Geography event is all about getting people to think differently about space. For a moment in time we're to make walkers in London Space Explorers by making situations in which people are forced to think about their geographies in new ways.

This is an exciting move for Guerrilla Geography and one which we want to open up to all Geographers. As with the Birmingham event, we want to for the public into thinking geographically... as an individual moves through London they might be followed by a roaming (dud) CCTV camera on Oxford Street before being asked to map their naughty memories in Covent Garden. What they meet or are asked to do in other places... we don't know just yet and that is what we'd like to recruit geographers for.

If you have a creative idea for getting people to see their world(s) in new way(s) we'd love to hear from you and then if you wanted... come along on the day to take part in this important event that is pushing out the fringes of geography and making people realise that it is not 'boring'.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Following on from Dan's post about changing Britain, I would like to recomend a little book that everyone should read. Random Acts of Kindness: 365 Ways to Make the World a Nicer Place, by Danny Wallace. We can all learn alot from this little read.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We're going to change Britain! WANTED: 2 Million People

Now launched on Facebook in an attempt to change the face of Britain..

"We the members of this group will defy British culture by smiling, saying hello and potentially sharing a wave with people we do not know in order to change Britain. In short, we're going to change Britain!"

In 2008 if you smile and say 'hello' to someone you don't know the chances are that they will think you're some kind of a crazy person after their bag or some larger part of their body. If your lucky you might get their foot in your mouth.

We, the people who live in Briton, are fed up of silent commuter trains and journeys where people do not speak to each other. We're tired of those places where if you look at someone you are at increased risk of GBH. We're bored of a smiles in the general direction of someone who thinks that they are attractive being misread/misled. Time enough we say for this Britain of darkness.

So let's reverse this reserved psychogeography of our nation(s)... for one day at least....

On the 1st of April 2008 shun unfriendly behaviour, become an activist of change and...

1. Smile at everyone you make eye contact with (if they smile back, say 'Hi' or if they are a long way from you give them a wave.

2. Ask 'how do you do?' to people you walk past or sit next to. If they reply, go mad and ask them how their day is going. matter who they are or what they look like. Let's go crazy and show an interest in our fellow Britons!

If 2 million Britons take part in this campaign 1 in 30 people should smile at you or say 'How do you do?'... this will change the geography of Britain as we know it... even if it is just for one day.... so please ask friends and strangers to join in.