The Walking Seminar in Artis Zoo

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Last month saw the publication of The Walking Seminar; Embodied research in emergent Anthropocene landscapesby Nick Shepherd, Christian Ernsten and Dirk-Jan Visser. It is the result of Shepherd’s time as an Artist in Residence at the Reinwardt Academy in 2017 and 2018. The publication will be presented on 7 December during the workshop The Colonial History of Dutch Natural History Institution at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo.

In 2017 Professor Nick Shepherd started the project The Walking Residency at the Reinwardt Academy, enabling students and lecturers to connect places, identities, stories, climate, nature, people and animals with each other in new ways. Together with staff and students, he explored artistic research, using walking as a methodology to engage landscapes and histories, and rethinking time, materiality and memory.

Winter school at the zoo
The Walking Seminar includes an insert based on three walking seminars done by students in the academy’s Master of Museology programme. One of these seminars was a so-called winter school that took place in collaboration with Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo. The issue at stake concerned the idea of a zoo in the Anthropocene. What should a zoo look like in an era in which human impact on the earth and its eco-systems is the main force to be reckoned with? At the heart of a ‘zoo walk’ students worked through ideas, imagining the zoo’s alternative futures.

On 7 December, Nick Shepherd will present The Walking Seminar during the workshop The Colonial History of Dutch Natural History Institution at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo. The workshop explores natural history museums and their colonial collections and connections.

Would you like to receive a copy of The Walking Seminar? Please send an e-mail to