Critical Writing Index

Walking the Wall: Global Flaneuse with Local Dilemmas

by Kinga Araya

Wagadu, Fall 2009, v. 7, pp. 55-74

ISSN 1545-6196

In order to explore the contemporary notion of the "global flaneur," Kinga Araya frames her article around her experience of emigrating from her native Poland to Canada by walking away from a school trip to Italy in 1989.

The body of the article considers Araya's 2008 work Walking the Wall, which happened in Berlin and coincided with the ten-year anniversary of her defection from her homeland. This work positions Araya's negotiation of the duality between living in the East and West through the enactment of the physical act of walking.

Araya discusses the etymology of the word flaneur in order to get at the gendered implications of the word and position herself and her practice within it. Moreover, the etymological tracing of the discourse around the definition of the flaneur, from Beaudelaire to Benjamin, enables Araya to explore what being one means in the contemporary global moment.

Lastly, Araya considers the local and global dimensions of the flaneur subjectivity and the way she engages with them in the walks that make up her performance art.

ITEM 2009.158 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Walking the WallKinga Araya

Dziesiec Krokow - Ten StepsKinga Araya

Walking Tamiami TrailKinga Araya

ABCKinga Araya

Peripatetic ExerciseKinga Araya

Orthoepic ExerciseKinga Araya

Exercising with Princess Headgear (Adjustable)Kinga Araya

Walking with ArmsKinga Araya

Grounded (I)Kinga Araya

Grounded (II)Kinga Araya

PolCanKinga Araya