Tropical Flânerie & the Creative Asian City: a perambulation of literature

Sneha Chaudhury, Anita Lundberg

Abstract


The flâneur became a literary figure of 19th century Paris and was taken up as a theoretical figure in the early 20th century. During these periods the city was undergoing massive social, architectural and infrastructural change. Today, the notion of the flâneur is experiencing a renaissance as cities are undergoing significant restructuring towards creative industries and economies. 

At the same time, two distinctive aspects of the theory of the flâneur are facing critique. One is to do with geography. The theory is based on cities of the global north, such as Paris, London and New York, and thus inherently entwined with the colonial metropole. The other aspect concerns gender. The flâneur invokes a masculine gaze, and the possibility of a female flâneuse remains under debate.

The current century has been witness to the rapid growth of cities, including in the tropics and Asia. This literature review – in the style of a perambulation – explores flânerie with examples of tropical Asian cities. Singapore is of special interest as it strives to become a ‘renaissance city’ – a global city of the arts, based on creative industries and economies. As a theory and method of critically meandering the creative city, flânerie offers a way of engaging and contributing to an ethnography of urban life. Furthermore, such a method may usefully rework the notion of the gaze of the flâneur to include the use of photography.


Keywords


flânerie; flâneuse; flâneur; ethnography; creative city; Singapore; Asian city

Full Text:

PDF

References


Ackland, M. (2017). Review of Walking in Berlin: A Flaneur in the Capital by Franz Hessel. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 16(2). doi:10.25120/etropic.16.2.2017.3626

Andersson, Å. E., Andersson, D. E. (2015). Creative cities and the new global hierarchy. Applied Spatial Analysis and Policy, 8(3), 181-198. doi:10.1007/s12061-015-9141-7

Baudelaire, C. (1964). The painter of modern life, and other essays. (Mayne, J., Ed. & Trans.) London: Phaidon Press.

Benjamin, W. (1968). Illuminations (Arendt, H., Ed., Zohn, H., Trans.). New York, NY: Schocken Books.

Benjamin, W. (1997). One-Way Street (Jephcott, E., & Shorter, K., Trans.). London, England: Verso.

Benjamin, W. (2003). The Arcades Project. (Eiland, H. & McLaughlin, K. Trans). Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Bhabha, H. K. (1994). The location of culture. New York & London: Routledge.

Boutin, A. (2016). Baudelaire's media aesthetics: The gaze of the flâneur and 19th-century media. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Buck-Morss, S. (1991). The dialectics of seeing: Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The MIT Press.

Carrera Suárez, I. (2015). The stranger flâneuse and the aesthetics of pedestrianism: Writing the post-diasporic metropolis. Interventions, 17(6), 853 – 865. doi:10.1080/1369801X.2014.998259

Coates, J. (2017). Key figure of mobility: The flâneur. Social Anthropology, 25(1), 28-41. doi:10.1111/1469-8676.12381

de Certeau. M. (2011)[1984]. The Practice of Everyday Life. Berkley: University of California Press.

Dreyer, E., & McDowall, E. (2012). Imagining the flaneur as a woman. Communicatio: South African Journal for Communication Theory and Research, 38(1), 30-44.

Elkin, L. (2017). Flâneuse: Women walk the city in Paris, New York, Tokyo, Venice, and London. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Florida, R. L. (2002). The rise of the creative class, and how it is transforming work, leisure, community and everyday life. New York, NY: Basic Books.

Florida, R. (2012). The rise of the creative class revisited (Tenth Anniversary Edition). New York, NY: Basic Books.

Fulford, R. (2013). Walter Benjamin, the flâneur, and the confetti of history. Queen's Quarterly, 120(1), 28

Garcia-Sanchez, S. (2013). Michele Robert's memoir: The woman flaneur experience in London. Women's Studies, 42(6), 629.

Gluck, M. (2003). The flâneur and the aesthetic: Appropriation of urban culture in mid-19th century Paris. Theory, Culture & Society, 20(5), 53-80. doi:10.1177/02632764030205003

Goebel, R.J. (2011). Benjamin’s Arcades Project today: From the European metropolis to the global city. Journal of Postcolonial Writing 47(5), 488-496. doi.org/10.1080/17449855.2011.614771

Goh, D. P. S. (2014). Walking the global city: The politics of rhythm and memory in Singapore. Space and Culture, 17(1), 16-28. doi:10.1177/1206331212451686

Goldstein, J. L. (2008). The flaneur, the street photographer and ethnographic practice. Contemporary Jewry, 28(1), 121-124. doi:10.1007/BF03020936

Hessel, F., Benjamin, W., & DeMarco, A. (2017). Walking in Berlin: A flaneur in the capital. London, United Kingdom: Scribe Publications.

Jenks, C., & Neves, T. (2000). A walk on the wild side: Urban ethnography meets the flâneur. Cultural Values, 4(1), 1-17. doi:10.1080/14797580009367183

Kharel, D. (2015). Visual ethnography, thick description and cultural representation. Dhaulagiri Journal of Sociology and Anthropology, 9, 147-160. doi:10.3126/dsaj.v9i0.14026

Kramer, K., & Short, J. R. (2011). Flânerie and the globalizing city. City, 15(3-4), 322 – 342. doi:10.1080/13604813.2011.595100

Landry, C. (1994). The Creative City: A Toolkit for Urban Innovators. New York, NY: Earthscan.

Laschinger, V. (2009). Flaneuring into the creative economy: Orhan Pamuk's Istanbul: Memories of a city. The Explicator, 67(2), 102-105. doi:10.3200/EXPL.67.2.102-105

Lauster, M. (2007). Walter Benjamin’s myth of the flaneur. The Modern Language Review, 102(1), 139-156.

Lefebvre, H. (1991). The production of space (Nicholson-Smith, D., Trans.). Malden, MA: Blackwell

Lefebvre, H. (2004). Rhythmanalysis: Space, time and everyday life (Elden, S., Moore, G., Trans.)

Lundberg, A. (2008). Material poetics of a Malay house. The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 19(1), 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1835-9310.2008.tb00102.x

Lundberg, A. (2016). Rhizomes, Weak Links and Far Flung Networks: Empowering women’s space in Tropical Asia. eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics, 15 (2), 106-117. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25120/etropic.15.2.2016.3547

Mallan, K. (2012). Strolling through the (post)modern city: Modes of being a flâneur in picture books. The Lion and the Unicorn, 36(1), 56-74.

National Arts Council. (2000). RENAISSANCE CITY REPORT: Culture and the Arts in Renaissance Singapore. Retrieved from National Arts Council website: https://www.nac.gov.sg/dam/jcr:defaf681-9bbb-424d-8c77-879093140750

Patke, R. S. (2002). Benjamin in Bombay? An extrapolation. Postmodern Culture, 12(3), 35. doi:10.1353/pmc.2002.002

Sontag, S. (1977). On Photography. New York: Picador USA.

Soukup, C. (2012). The postmodern ethnographic flaneur and the study of hyper-mediated everyday life. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 42(2), 226-254. doi:10.1177/0891241612461278

Vainshtein, O. (2017). Walking the turtles: Minimalism in European dandy culture in the nineteenth century. Fashion, Style & Popular Culture, 4(1), 81-104. doi:10.1386/fspc.4.1.81_1

Watson, P. (2005). The city, the flaneur and the man with the camera. West Coast Line: A Journal of Contemporary Writing & Criticism, 39(2), 42.

White, E. (2001). The flaneur: A stroll through the paradoxes of Paris (1st U.S. ed.). New York: Bloomsbury.

Wolfe, C. R. (2017). Seeing the better city. How to explore, observe, and improve urban space. Covelo: Island Press.

Wrigley, R., & Wrigley. (2014). The flâneur abroad: Historical and international perspectives (1st ed.). Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Yang, C. L. (2012). T.S. Eliot's virtual Europe: The flaneur and the textual flanerie. Yeats Eliot Review, 29(3-4), 3.

Yi’En, C. (2014). Telling stories of the city: Walking ethnography, affective materialities, and mobile encounters. Space and Culture, 17(3), 211-223. doi:10.1177/1206331213499468




DOI: https://doi.org/10.25120/etropic.17.1.2018.3643

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


Copyright (c) 2018 eTropic: electronic journal of studies in the tropics