A Message from our Guest Editor

20th August 2021

Craving the sensations of cities, the sensory experience of walking through the stellar Doric columns of Central Station, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, in spring this year was sublime. A sense of fortuity seemed to prevail under the blue sky and the coquettish curve of Grey Street appeared to rise to meet a new day. Cities change me and I had missed them. My temporal lobes were starved of urban texture, colour and form.

It has been an absolute joy to guest edit this satiating special issue of StepAway Magazine, a publication with the editorial vision of Darren Carlaw which I have long admired. The Flâneuse issue is delighted to present writing fusing past, present and futurity inspired by the female gaze; celebrating the enduring, important and vital presence of female perspectives in any citified place.

Fine art street photographer Linda Wisdom’s work informed the inception of the issue and her striking and iconic cover image of the City/Barbican area of London, shot through glass, oozes satisfying monochrome geometry. Eighteen writers shine their unique voices upon urban areas from around the globe; read each individually or sequentially and let their words change you.

Dr Lauren Elkin writes, in the epilogue of her 2016 publication Flâneuse, ‘A female flânerie – a flâneuserie – not only changes the way we move through space, but intervenes in the organisation of space itself. We claim our right to disturb the peace, to observe (or not observe), to occupy (or not occupy) and to organise (or disorganise) space on our own terms.’

Julie Hogg

Guest Editor

StepAway Magazine