School for Tourists Programme

Hedge School*


Organised as part of the project The School For Tourists by artist Emma Smith


Wednesday 17 October


Meeting Point: Centro d’Artisania, Calle Villa


The aim of the School for Tourists is to think through and pilot possibilities for a new form of tourism: one that is reciprocal, contributive and sustainable.

Hedge School is an event created by The School for Tourists to think through and practically test out ideas for a new model of tourism that is of benefit to the residents of Casares.


The Hedge School will ask the following questions:

– What could be gained by inverting the tourist expectation of being serviced by considering the notion that the tourist could be of resource to an area?

– How might the potential of the vast range of skills, interests and knowledge of visitors and residents that come into proximity through tourism be connected and contributed to a location?

– How can the experience / education / facilities available to the tourist also be of use and benefit to local residents?

These questions will be posed and thought out through a series of practical activities that will act as a platform for discussion.


The Hedge School is a mobile programme and will be hosted in a number of locations around Casares. The activities included in this event are as follows:


Summary of activities:

Introduction: artist talk

Skills workshop: learning local skills

Story telling street walk: mobile theatrical street performances

Wayfaring: getting lost together

Read-In: meeting with strangers and sharing language

Cooking Lesson: sharing knowledge of food

Knowledge Exchange: an opportunity for tourists to give back.


Details of Activities:


Artist Talk

An introductory talk by Artist Emma Smith on the problems of tourism, the need for new models and an outline of the days event.


Skills Workshop

A workshop to learn local skills connected to the land. This workshop tests out a format by which local residents can share and pass on skills that connect them to Casares while offering tourists a point of entry to engage physically with the knowledge of the area. In learning these skills together the model offers the potential for tourism to support local learning. During this session the group will be invited to think through other skills that might feed into a future model of this programme.


Language of the Land

A mobile story telling walk of the streets of Casares. Viewing Casares as an active living space rather than historic monument this walk includes stories of the streets recounted in Spanish and enacted by local actors. This session aims to create a format through which residents can recall and share their local histories and tourists can listen to and learn the phrases and expressions of these tales while understanding their content through the improvised enactments. While walking participants will also be invited to consider how we might re-map Casares by the verbs and actions that one does here as apposed to the nouns and names that frieze it in time.



An opportunity to get lost in Casares. Inviting a tourist participant to volunteer to lead the group in any direction they choose, this session will focus on what can be learnt by walking together, and the importance of being lost as a point to come together.



Based on the method created by Annette Kraus in Holland, the group will go from house to house asking if someone will host us for our next session: a collective reading. The aim of this session is to test a format by which strangers can come together instantaneously without prior arrangment, utilizing this moment of the coming together of tourists and residents as a space to share language and learn from one another. Once the group has been invited into someone’s house or terrace the group will read together Act 2, Scene 2 of Brian Friel’s play Translations, working together to translate the work from English to Spanish and adapting it to the location of Casares.


Cooking Lesson

This session offers the opportunity to learn about local food and recipes from a resident of Casares. Like the skill sharing workshop the format offers the opportunity for local residents to share and pass on skills while tourists engage physically with the knowledge of Casares, encouraging an understanding of the connection between food and place.


Knowledge Exchange

This session offers the opportunity for the tourist to give back. Welcomed into a holiday home this session will offer a reciprocal cooking lesson offered by the artist as a visitor to Casares.


The day will close with a discussion on how ideas from the event may be taken forward.

* The Hedge School originated in Ireland as a format to bring people together in rural areas to share their oral knowledge. The idea of the format is to be mobile – to move with the knowledge, to connect with the place that you are in, and always to share.


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About emmasmith

La práctica social de Emma Smith incluye tanto la investigación como la producción y responde a las características específicas del lugar donde trabaja. Sus proyectos exploran la interrelación entre personas y lugares desde una perspectiva interdisciplinaria, abarcando eventos organizados, participación, performance, sonido y texto. Situado en el día a día, el trabajo de Smith investiga conductas históricas y su relación con el presente y explora las relaciones transitorias que establecemos con los lugares y con uno mismo. Su trabajo se centra en la acción social y colectiva. Para ello, excava saberes sedimentados, investiga la psicología del espacio e incorpora la dinámica relacional. Como parte de su proceso de Smith regularmente colabora y trabaja con equipos multidisciplinarios. El resultado, eventos, sucesos e instigaciones son momentos efímeros y particulares para la gente que los experimenta. Proyectos recientes y en curso son ?E =W (Tate Modern, Londres, Reino Unido); A Call for a Song (Mistaken Presence, Lincoln, Reino Unido); or Confabula (Artsadmin, London, Reino Unido).