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Climbing walls, making bridges: children of immigrants’ identity negotiations through capoeira and parkour in Turin


Ugolotti, N.D.M.



Leisure Studies

Publication type

Artículo de revista




capoeira, parkour, Turin, leisure, identity, migration


Capoeira and parkour are two different body practices which have gained worldwide attention in urban settings in the last few decades. The following paper will explore how capoeira and parkour relate to the construction of identity paths amongst children of immigrants between 12 and 20 in Turin, Italy. It will do so by looking at how such practices are used by young men of migrant origin to negotiate and perform narratives of self-worth, belonging and recognition within marginalising and excluding urban environments. This study acknowledges that social identifications are created, negotiated and (re)produced through bodily and spatial means and within networks of power relations. Following this premise, the insights proposed in this paper suggest that the ambivalent and fluid use of bodies and spaces implied by capoeira and parkour can represent a meaningful lens to understand the embodied and spatial identity negotiations enacted by participants in their daily lives. This theoretical perspective will illuminate the place that active bodies, spaces and leisure practices take in the negotiation of social identities, and dynamics of inclusion/exclusion, enacted by youth of migrant origin within early twenty-first century Turin cityscape.


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