Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures - WALK 2: Wild Natures and Queer Counter-Publics (Paris)

Free party in the Bois de Vincennes, summer 2020 (John Bingham-Hall)

Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures - WALK 2: Wild Natures and Queer Counter-Publics (Paris)

Free party in the Bois de Vincennes, summer 2020 (John Bingham-Hall)
University of London Institute in Paris
9-11 rue de Constantine, 75007 Paris
Event dates
, 9:30 am to 6:00 pm (CEST)

'Commons, Wilds, Infrastructures' is a research project led by Dr John Bingham-Hall, as part of the Banister Fletcher Global Fellowship, a fellowship opportunity piloted by the University of London Institute in Paris in partnership with the Bartlett School of Architecture (UCL) and Queen Mary University of London (QMUL).

The core of the research is around three collective walks, in Paris and in London, each (literally) exploring public atmospheres at three different scales. This work will connect infrastructural critique to public sphere theory, design research and studies of urban ecology. 

This second walk focuses on 'Wilds'. There is a paradox in the way democratic bodies, such as the Ville de Paris, imagine rewilding. As a ‘wild’ aesthetic for urban nature becomes mainstreamed, marginal zones are being opened up and re-formulated as public spaces, managed to promote biodiversity and ‘healthy’ modes of public life. In the process, ‘wild’ forms of life that have found shelter in this marginality, and are framed as unclean and illicit, are policed out of existence – cruising, free parties, and informal shelter. This gathering will think through queer perspectives on public space and ecology, and enact queer modes of transspecies encounter, to open up a broader idea of wilding, that multiplies rather than limits possibilities for more-than-human culture.

Bringing together scholars with artists and activists, equipping participants with both observational tools and frames, drawing on sonic and choreographic walking methods, this research project aims to produce a critical cartography of connections between human and non-human cultures.

The day starts with a seminar and is folllowed by a collective walk in Paris. Scroll down to discover the various guest speakers' profiles and the detailed programme of the day.

Presentations and Profiles of Speakers

Alexander Auris (he/him) - Queer World

Alexander Auris (he/him) is a Peruvian architect and researcher based in Brussels. Recently he has contributed in the exhibition Institution Building at CIVA Brussels and Oslo Architecture Triennale. His work unfolds from an intimate exploration of his intersectionality in relation to space and it is presented in different types of media such as video, writing, performance, and spatial design.

Presentation: Queer World

Alex’s project proposes a theoretical framework for the analysis of queerness in the built environment. This research aims to create alternative narratives of the cities we inhabit and find what is common between queer people. He has tested this research in Berlin, Pristina, Lima, and Brussels and continues to expand it to other cities.

Ama Josephine B. Johnstone - Intimate Ecologies: Queer Speculations on Pleasure, Blackness and Art

Ama Josephine B. Johnstone is a researcher, speculative writer, artist and pleasure activist whose work navigates intimate explorations of race, art, ecology and feminism. She is a PhD candidate in Psychosocial Studies with Dr Gail Lewis, recipient of the Keith Haring Fellow in Art and Activism at Bard College, NY and the Local and International Planetary fictions fellowship between EVA International (Ireland) and Curatorial Frame (Finland).

Presentation: Intimate Ecologies: Queer Speculations on Pleasure, Blackness and Art

The project traces pre-colonial lineages of indigenous lifeways and ontologies that might be interpreted as queer interspecies relations or entanglements, through visual aesthetics, impossibilities of language and coded aural histories. These histories and visualities surface through a Black feminist methodology of conversations I have termed ‘pollination as praxis’, in an attempt to navigate a field made murky by the imposed taboos and violences of colonial occupation and epistemicide. I map Intimate Ecologies through visual analysis of artworks and artistic practices; speculative invocations of lifeways/ontologies made ephemeral; and conversations with contemporary artists and activists in Ghana and across the Black diaspora. My project pays urgent and interdisciplinary attention to what it is we consider Blackness capable of encompassing, queering and sustaining at both an ecological, and a political moment of interdependence when, in the wake and current of climate colonialism, the stakes for survival, justice and the right to future-build have never been higher.

Nia Manoylo (they/them) - Manifesto for queer ecological urbanism

Nia Manoylo (they/them) is a 3rd-year Architecture student at Central Saint Martins, London. Their work spans fields of architecture, ecology, queer theory and urbanism. Their final year work questions current attitudes toward ecology in modern architectural discourse and the potential of eco-democracy and the role of nonhuman inhabitants in the process of urbanisation.

Presentation: Manifesto for queer ecological urbanism

I want to start by presenting the field of queer ecology and where it intersects with urbanism and architecture as well as its radical potential. By presenting my own set of propositions in relation to recent cases of policy-making in London, I’m aiming to spark a discussion that would feed further into the Queer Urbanist manifesto, a generative tool with potential for radical architectural change.

Benny Nemer - Trees Are Fags

Benny Nemer (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist, diarist, and researcher based in Paris. His practice mediates encounters with musical, botanical, art historical, and queer cultural material, encouraging deep listening and empathic viewing. Nemer completed a practice-based PhD at the Edinburgh College of Art in 2019 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the KASK + Conservatorium in Ghent, Belgium. 

Presentation: Trees Are Fags

Benny will reflect on the aspects of his artistic research that turns toward gay sex cruising both aesthetically and methodologically, and lead participants through a guided audio walk that facilitates an erotic encounter with a tree. 

Cy Lecerf Maulpoix - Inhabiting, experimenting queer margins

Cy Lecerf Maulpoix (he/him) has been involved in queer action and climate justice collectives since COP21. An independent journalist, he covers social struggles through interviews, surveys and reports published in general and specialist press. He also offers free and social yoga classes within the We Are Yogis collective of which he is one of the founders. He is the author of Écologies Déviantes: voyages en terres queer and Edward Carpenter & l’autre nature, along with other theoretical and poetic projects related to queer ecology.

Presentation: Inhabiting, experimenting queer margins
A meditation and collective discussion on deviant ecologies and the ethics of “cruising” taking place amongst the trees of the Bois de Vincennes.

Emma Bigé – Closing Reflections

Emma Bigé digs, writes about, translates, curates, and improvises with contemporary experimental dances and queer& trans*feminist philosophies. She fell in love with dance in North America and Western Europe with Steve Paxton, Lisa Nelson, Nancy Stark Smith, Matthieu Gaudeau, and many others. She currently investigates the somatopolitical potentials of dance for celebrating wyrd and rare forms of tenderness between humans & other critters of Terra.

Programme - 19 May 2022

Seminar (morning)

  • 09:30 – Coffee + introductions
  • 10:00 – Openings
    • Alexander Auris
    • Nia Manoylo
    • Ama Josephine B. Johnstone
  • 11:00 – Discussion + nourishment
  • 11:45 – Thinking towards walking
    • Benny Nemer
    • Cy Lecerf Maulpoix

Walk (afternoon)

  • 13:00 – Off to the woods
  • 14:00 – Wildings
    • Audio walk led by Benny Nemer
    • Meditation led by Cy Lecerf Maulpoix
  • 16:30 – Closing Reflections
    • with Emma Bigé
  • 18:00 – End + drinks

Please email John Bingham-Hall at if you would like to express interest in attending the event.

If you would like to find out more about the first walk, you can visit the 'Green Infrastructures and the Democratic Public' web page for further details.