Travels, Typing and Tales

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Emmy Laura Perez Fjalland

Narratives surround us in everyday life; in planning, politics, media coverage, research, and among children. But as mobilities and planning researchers we do not seem to fully connect the practice with storytelling, academic writing or representation. Due to the more poetic, fabulous (from fable), and narrative language, stories can ‘voice’ humans’ shambles of ambiguousness, delightfulness and quirkiness, and our on-going rationalisation to try and make life meaningful. This knowledge can help us understand the assembly of modern urban environments and societies, and expose sense making in urban societies in the perpetual construction of cities. My contribution is based on my negotiations with myself on how to communicate and represent my fieldwork and studies of the urban development of the Colombian capital, Bogotá. It is about performing urban consultancy and being transnational. The main argument is to highlight the power of stories, both as method and representation and to show how stories can prompt path-dependent acknowledgements that are part of reproducing urban challenges such as ‘sustain-ability’ , inequality, and discrimination. These kind of stories are not about moving readers to tears, or about navel-gazing, but to demonstrate that those who ‘write culture’ suggest how ‘reality’ could be different, and this in itself can endorse a mobilisation of the sociological imagination.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationExperiencing Networked Urban Mobilities : Practices, Flows, Methods
EditorsMalene Freudendal-Pedersen, Katrine Hartmann-Petersen, Emmy Laura Perez Fjalland
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherRoutledge
Publication date15 Jan 2018
Pages163-169
Chapter29
ISBN (Print)9781138712317
ISBN (Electronic)9781315200255
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes
SeriesNetworked Urban Mobilities Series
Number2

ID: 221831385