Tales: Somang Lee’s field guide to walking

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“I am allowed to take up and reclaim space” says illustrator Somang Lee. In the wake of the pandemic’s anti-Asian hate crime, she has reclaimed space through outdoor adventures, and healing through returning to her roots

This story is part of our Tales from a Slow Way series. Each Tales award includes a contribution to the organisation as well as a project fee to the creative. Somang Lee’s project donation went to ESEA Sisters.

“As a woman of Korean heritage I grew up seeing women who looked like me being portrayed as weak and subservient in the media. Since moving to the UK twenty years ago I have started to go on outdoor adventures – exploring the Outer Hebrides by bike and planning solo long-distance walks. This has helped to build my confidence and has given me a sense of empowerment. I receive a tremendous amount of joy and sense of meaning when I am exploring the outdoors and would like to inspire others to get out there and be part of it.

For this project I would like to share stories of ESEA Sisters women walking and the benefits they receive from the activity as well as practical tips on how to plan for a walk so that it feels less daunting for those who may never have considered going on a long distance journey.”

You can download Somang’s full field-guide by clicking on the link below:

An award-winning illustrator and projection artist based in London, Somang Lee trained at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art. Her creative practice is informed by her love for nature and outdoor adventures and her aim is to create illustrations that are both beautiful and useful – making use of the wonder of nature, to inspire others to get out there and be part of it.

Last year we launched Tales from a Slow Way, a community stories initiative that enabled us to commission creatives and community groups to work together to produce original stories and content situated around Slow Ways walking routes. Each award included a donation to the organisation as well as a project fee to the creative. Together, the awarded projects map the sheer diversity of walkers across the UK and highlight the importance of forging new paths.

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