Parkour as a technology of the self

(Part 63 of 67 in ~ My Journey)

I’m working on a crazy idea as a side project. Totally unrelated, I’m reading Julie’s CinéParkour. I’m just reading along this evening, and I get to this paragraph. This is so apropos of my train of thought these past few weeks.


Julie Angel, from CinéParkour, pg 152:

Traceurs are active subjects within dominant power relations who use parkour as a technology of the self; an active transformative tool, to create and understand themselves and move away from fixed notions of identity and behaviour. Through a process of critical thinking and self-awereness traceurs problemitise and set ethics by which they adhere to. Parkour becomes a ‘practice of libery’, where traceurs practice freedom as a lifestyle, based on inventions and styles, that create ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections, to reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle, away from the dominant notion of ‘bio-power’ and other dominant discourses.

‘technology of the self’
‘freedom as a lifestyle’
‘ethics centered around creative environmental interactions and connections’
‘reclaim the body as an autonomous vehicle’

The inconvenient truth

The idea of what parkour can be and the current reality of what parkour is are not the same as far as who participates. The issue of gender can’t be ignored in parkour. You hear a lot based around the idea of ‘parkour is for everyone!’, well theoretically yes, but if all you really see is young guys then if you are not a ‘young guy’, it many not occur to you that it could also be for you. Parkour as an activity is not alone in this.

~ Julie Angel