Parkour: Ambassador for the Banlieue

Fuggle, Sophie. 2009. Parkour: Ambassador for the Banlieue. Essays in French Literature and Culture, 46, pp. 57-75. ISSN 1835-7040 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This essay looks at the urban activity parkour which first emerged in Lisses, France fifteen years ago. In particular it considers to what extent parkour can be
regarded as synonymous with a shift towards pure movement identified by Paul Virilio, most notably, in his recent ‘Terre Natale’ exposition at the Fondation Cartier and therefore part of a process of displacement or dislocation from a founding identity
conceived in terms of one’s birthplace, hometown and citizenship. As a counter to this
concept of pure movement, the essay also looks at how parkour can act as a mediator between different spaces, territories and identities. With specific reference to Luc Besson’s Banlieue 13 (2004) and Banlieue 13: Ultimatum (2009) we suggest possible ways in which parkour has acted, and continues to act, as an ambassador for the banlieue.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Centre for Cultural Studies (1998-2017)


November 2009Published

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Date Deposited:

29 Nov 2011 10:23

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 15:31

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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