Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Flâneur is Alive and Sauntering in the Modern Metropolis

This is a Travel Geographer Blog only post (this is a blog, not a podcast)

The tourist as a Flâneur is a popular concept in postmodern tourism discussions. The flâneur is traditionally a male who objectively sees the world around him, but is not a direct participant in that world. According to the French philosopher Baudelair (cited in the linked article): “For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate observer, it's an immense pleasure to take up residence in multiplicity; in whatever is seething, moving, evanescent and infinite: you're not at home but you feel at home everywhere; you see everyone, you're at the centre of everything yet you remain hidden from everybody.” Sounds a lot like tourism, doesn't it?

According to the article that I have linked through the title above, the photo-blogger is the new flâneur. Photography is a major tourist activity, and for many part of the very definition of the "tourist." In fact, each tourist photograph could be considered a flânning event! And photo-flânning offers an instant slide show of one's travel experience. Hmmm, this could become popular.