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Kinematop: Roads and the Construction of Meaning by Movement
The authors combine studies of space, mobility and infrastructure in order to discuss the construction of meaning through movement. The article presents the ethnographic research of two roads traversing the Gorski Kotar region of Croatia: the Lujzijana road connecting Karlovac and Rijeka and the Zagreb-Rijeka motorway. All three main elements on which the experience of mobility is built – the traffic infrastructure (roads and roadside/service buildings), the vehicle (car) and the environment (landscape) that the road/car traverses – are crucially defined as moving, non-static entities in the course of travel. It is in and with the car, on and along the road as well as through the landscape that experiences of mobility are shaped and valued. Moreover, the perception and meaning of the two roads is constructed as relational: the “old” Lujzijana and the “new” motorway differ in the sense of time and travelling distance they produce, and reasons for using one or the other. Embodiment and affects are taken into account as principles shaping the relations that emerge between people, roads and the environment in motion, and between people during their journey. Finally, the authors introduce the notion of kinematop (Greek words kinema – movement + topos – place) – the moving place – that links spaces of mobility and practices of mobility in construction of meaningful places by movement.
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