"Wir sind hier, wir sind laut" - Artikulationen von Emotionen der Nähe auf Fahrraddemonstrationen
Boos, Philip; Jessen, Gesa – 2023
The article examines how citizens' initiatives use articulations of proximity in the context of emotionalized environment perceptions for demanding the integration of protective bicycle infrastructure in urban design. In order to do so, we present a variety of material consisting of images and language that was created in 2020 as part of various bicycle demonstrations in Berlin-Neukölln. These flyer texts, posters, speeches and photos help to understand how concerns about safety and quality of life are articulated in a language of proximity. What is perceived as closer spatially (urban spaces of everyday use such as streets in front of individuals' doors, regularly frequented cycling routes) becomes intertwined with what is perceived as closer in time, i.e. imminent and already occurring “great phenomena” (Everts, 2016) such as climate change and scarcity of resources. In our study, we assume that bicycle demonstrations function as transformation experiences. Bicycle demonstrations are motivated by emotions such as fear or anger, but can also generate different emotions such as joy and sense of community in the course of protest. For the duration of the demonstrations, streets become lived spaces suitable for bicycles, while the power relations that otherwise determine urban road traffic are challenged for a short amount of time. The experience of closeness becomes one of belonging and self-determination. It is these appropriations of space that mark bicycle demonstrations as a form of protest worth investigating, since they contribute to transforming emotions and intensifying perceptions of one's own environment.