“By bike she lives”, an urban tale on women’s practice to walk fast

Authors: Alice Salimbeni*, Università degli Studi di Cagliari
Topics: Urban Geography, Women, Field Methods
Keywords: visual approach, feminist geography, non representational theories
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 37
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


One Feminist geography main interest has been to study different forms of oppression that non-heteronormative subjects live in urban space, by exploring their negative experiences. Even if this is the acknowledged way, other approaches where the subjects of the research do not (re)live moments of discomfort might be explored.
Following these assumptions, I tried to to adopt in my doctoral research the feminist affirmative style of parody (Braidotti, 2017). Together with a group of women that participated in a workshop I organised in Brussels, we selected the well-known strategy of speeding up, often adopted to avoid uncomfortable urban situations. Then, we have transformed it into a parodic, de-skilled (Garrett, 2011) film-fiction, entitled: “By bike she lives”.
The tale told is that of Coralie, who is tired of the gender inequalities she experiences daily in urban space (see Glapka, 2018). She decides to abandon her life-routine to go to live by bike in order to move through the city fast and undisturbed. She never stops, she cycles day and night. By cycling she eats, she has business and friends meetings, she rests, and she tells us ironically why she has made this choice in life.
By realizing a parodic-film (that we wrote and shot), we developed a critical collective thought over the issue by transforming our negative spatial feelings into positive energy. The research process is a truly non-violent one for the participants (Borghi, 2020), who act out a powerful role, by effectively embodying a possible resistance to sexism.

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