Step, Step, Breathe by Sophie Oldfield is a film contribution to Volume 2 Spring 2020 of AGITATE!, an online, open access journal which provides a platform for knowledges that seek to unsettle the dominant politics and practices of experts. AGITATE! explores the possibilities and challenges of interweaving scholarship, creative writing, art, journalism, and activism.
Step, Step, Breathe tells of Oldfield’s introduction to running, which also forms the foundation for a course entitled ‘Running the City’ that she runs as part of the University of Basel’s MA Critical Urbanisms programme. Rediscovering Cape Town through running led her to imagine ways she might use running to teach urban studies in the city.
“On the one hand, Cape Town is hard, unequal, divided, dangerous, a place where you have to be street smart, savvy, fast walking, strong. It is a city of texture, of surface and shine, of grit and graded zinc,” she writes. “On the other hand, it is a city of people, of languages, accents, styles and humour. It is a city of the known and unknown, neighbourhoods where you can and cannot walk, extraordinary vistas and views, as well as banal things at foot. Cape Town invites you in and spits you out; it demands something of you.”Sophie Oldfield