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Resistance in the Deceleration Lane

Velocentrism, Slow Culture and Everyday Practice


Marzena Kubisz

Motivated by a desire to reflect critically on the ways in which speeds, both high and low, and their representations affect the construction, deconstruction and reconstruction of meanings around particular cultural texts, images and practices, Resistance in the Deceleration Lane uses the velocentric perspective to examine the phenomenon of «slow living» and its rhetoric. The book analyzes cultural practices which are inspired by the conviction that the increased speed of everyday life cannot be accepted unquestioningly. It portrays slowness as a strategy of contestation and resistance on one hand, and on the other it highlights the process of the gradual commercialization of the slow logo and suggests the rise of a post-slow stage in the history of speed.
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Chapter Five: New Territoriality in the Age of Deterritorialization


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Chapter Five: New Territoriality in the Age of Deterritorialization

The terrain of a king’s everyday life is not his country but his court.

Agnes Heller, Everyday Life

Space is the ongoing possibility of a different inhabitation.

Elizabeth Grosz, Architecture from the Outside:

Essays on Virtual and Real Space

In 1913 Gino Severini observed that “[s]peed has given us a new conception of space and time, and consequently of life itself.”1 The Italian Futurists sketched prophetically the contours of a world in which distance would be annulled by speed and where the solitude and nostalgia caused by spatial separation would be eliminated from the spectrum of experience. Almost a century later, in 2012, Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish novelist, published Moment niedźwiedzia, in part a travelogue containing notes and observations made in places she had visited. In a subchapter entitled “Maps of fear or nil desperandum” she reflects on her own spatial experience of Amsterdam, which she contrasts with “many other cities – sprawling, too big, with wide streets, built for the wind rather than for man,” where walking is often perceived as a curiosity, where streets are sites of a permament struggle to survive and where people “just run their errands, rush, pass by.”2 While other cities may be shaped by “the new aesthetics of speed,”3 enthusiastically praised by F. T. Marinetti, Amsterdam for Tokarczuk wears a size HS, a homo sapiens...

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