“Thus, hostile urbanists or militias always conduct the battle towards the inside, or the domain of obstacles, the urban canyon. When it comes to urbanized war, every combatant must think like an obstacle –‘See everything from the perspective of an obstacle’. West then uses Parkour as the exemplary discipline in which the practitioner becomes as one with the obstacle during movement. Every soldier should be a traceur, a swerving projectile which has a deep sympathy with its physical obstacle.”
Negarestani Reza. CYCLONOPEDIA. Complicity with anonymous materials. Melbourne: Re-Press 2008
In his great Cyclonopedia (already evoked in a previous article), the Iranian philosopher Reza Negarestani evokes urban combat as the new paradigm of war in the Middle East. He establishes a materialist interpretation of the city as a set of obstacles and the militarized choreography of bodies as a set of trajectories that develop a “sympathy” for these same obstacles.
I recently discovered this following video showing three young men practicing Parkour in the Gaza Strip. My romanticism did not need so much to see a poetical resistance by the bodies to the various obstacles the Israeli Army impose to the Palestinian population…