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Parkour, Graffiti, and the Politics of (In)Visibility in Aestheticized Cityscapes


De Martini Ugolotti, N., & Genova, C.



Space and Culture

Publication type

Artículo de revista




(in)visibility; aestheticized cityscapes; Bologna; embodied geographies; graffiti; parkour; Turin


In the past decades, urban scholars have discussed at length how the production of aesthetically pleasing and consumption-enticing cityscapes has become the core of postindustrial urban economies. Critical analyses have underlined how the “dictatorship of the visual” characterizing these urban processes implies the expulsion from public life of “unacceptable” differences and conflicts within. While fundamental, these perspectives have not fully engaged with a variety of urban practices and groups that are simultaneously addressed by urban leaderships as visible assets and threats for image-based redevelopment processes. Drawing on two ethnographic studies in Turin and Bologna, Italy, this article contributes to address this gap by focusing on parkour and graffiti’s ambiguous and controversial positions in these rebranding cities. By addressing how traceurs and writers reconciled and negotiated their positioning within image-led urban redevelopment processes, this article expands existing discussions on the nexus between (in)visibility, publicness, embodied geographies, and aestheticized cityscapes


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