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Keywords:

  • mobility;
  • aesthetics;
  • parkour;
  • resistance;
  • habit;
  • Félix Ravaisson

Abstract

This paper examines new forms of urban movement from the perspective of embodiment and habit. Utilising Felix Ravaisson's recently revived work, Of Habit, the paper explores the role of grace and embodiment in establishing alternate forms of mobile activity. I argue that it is the mixture of fear and mastery that has the potential to perpetuate certain habits of mobility, leading to an aestheticised relationship to the urban environment, which to some extent overcomes the anaesthesia and blasé attitude that we have come to associate with urban life. My aim is to understand forms like urban cycling, skateboarding, and parkour from the point of view of the micropolitical relations of body, space, and habit. What is at stake here is to rethink the relationship between habit and resistance, in such a way that resistance can be seen in its materiality, rather than in merely reactive or ideological terms.