Wednesday, 16 April 2014


"Mundane it may be, but crossing the street has become my moment of agency, the existential moment when I feel most alive, when I mine every available scrap of sensation and experience to make a decision. Do I cross? Do I wait? Walking is the sum of such moments. It is how I know and map my place in the world.

"The word pedestrian, with its connotations of banality and routine, does not begin to express the satisfaction I experience in this kind of walking. The French have a better word for it. The verb is  flâner, which loosely means to stroll or to wander aimlessly. One who walks this way is a flaneur. In Paris, such walking evolved into an art form.

"Charles Baudelaire and Walter Benjamin were two of its great practitioners. In their imaginations, an aimless stroll through the streets of Paris became social transformation, the construction of new and subjective realities out of the pedestrian debris of cultural excess and alienation. Whew! Fortunately, you do not have to be a postmodern theorist to follow the flaneur’s art. It can be as simple as strolling down Rue Mouffetard with a baguette under your arm."

Mark Willis, a blind flaneur

Now I know I am a flaneur as well... a flaneuring photographer! The French [and their language] captures the essence of every imaginable experience... like deja vu!

Photo above shows Sydney at dusk at one of my photography strolls... I can come back at the same location roughly at the same time but I bet I won't find the same 'view'... now what is the word the French would describe that?