What does 'active' movement (in contrast to being moved) do to our bodies and minds? What do active movers hope to achieve (apart from the obvious health benefits)? Which transformations are desired and which ones obtained? This panel will address these and related questions.
The human species has been on the move since people were able to stand upright, a human powered mobility that meets various needs. Historical developments in transport technologies have radically altered both the purpose and physical experience of travelling. For those who can afford it and are allowed to, contemporary travels are commonly characterized by increased comfort, speed, and distance. Interestingly, however, highly industrialized societies are witnessing an increasing move (back) towards so-called 'active' and human powered modes of transportation in terms of daily home-work movements, recreational mobilities (walking, cycling or running being the most popular ones), and travels (e.g. walking tours, hiking and trails, and 'pilgrimages'). What precisely is at stake in this trend? How do these sought after bodily motions (and the related emotions) compare to the forcibly 'slow' modes of mobility by many refugees (e.g. those desperately trying to enter the EU) or to the historical journeys of long-distance pilgrims? What does active movement (in contrast to being moved) do to our bodies and minds? How does 'active' movement affect the way we interact and think about our environments or sense of place? What do active movers hope to achieve (apart from the obvious health benefits)? Which transformations are desired and which ones obtained? Based on ethnographic data and innovative conceptual frameworks, this panel will address these and related questions.