Urban Hitchhiking: Wandering with Others as a Research Method by Anna Kholina in Suomen Antropologi

Posted on April 2018

Copyright (c) 2017 Lauri Jäntti

Malla, Tuuli; Kholina, Anna; Jäntti, Lauri (2017).  

Urban Hitchhiking: Wandering with Others as a Research Method. Suomen Antropologi: Journal of the Finnish Anthropological Society, 42(3), 41-51. 

This essay introduces urban hitchhiking, a reflective practice of sharing a walk with strangers, and considers its relevance for research and artistic practice. Drawing from ethnography, psychogeography and performance studies, we frame urban hitchhiking as a score that has ethnographic potential akin to the ethnographic installation (Hartblay 2017) for exploring the complex relationships between people and cityscapes. We demonstrate this with the help of our own accounts of Urban Hitchhiking as two artists who developed the concept and a researcher who practiced it. The essay summarises four perspectives that emerged from our findings: spatiality, performativity, gender, and hospitality. It concludes that the key value of urban hitchhiking lies in its potential to create a setting that we define as an empathetic drift, which turns random encounters into shared acts of trust through which a variety of anthropological questions can be explored.

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