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Parkour: Creating loose spaces?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-30
Number of pages14
JournalGEOGRAFISKA ANNALER SERIES B: HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Volume94
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Abstract

Parkour is a spectacular and highly mediatized new way of movement that challenges conceptions of acceptable or appropriate behaviour in urban public space. This article will examine the potential of parkour to "loosen" urban spatial texture by applying recent thinking on loose and tight space by Karen A. Franck and Quentin Stevens to data gathered through in-depth interviews with parkour practitioners (traceurs) in two Finnish cities. When practising in urban public spaces, the traceurs we interviewed often caused confusion among other people. We explore how they negotiate their right to public space in the face of these reactions, either by evasion or with a combination of legal and moral arguments. We argue that parkour is not only a playful and confrontational practice with a potentially subversive character, but that the process of loosening space constitutes a complex dialectic, which may also involve a certain degree of tightening in the public space for other unexpected or unintended activities.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

Keywords

  • Loose space, Parkour, Public space, Tight space