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noLand’s man – A Survey of the Values and Practices of an Invisible People

Ongoing research

The noLand collective- a photographer, an architect, an anthropologist and a sociologist- explores the world of the « neo-nomads », individuals who break away from sedentary living in favor of a mobile habitat, without belonging to the Gypsy or Romani traditions. The aim of the study is to uncover the political and cultural foundations of this mobile lifestyle, the beliefs and values associated with it, as well as its specific knowledge and craftsmanship that constitute a common culture far beyond geographic or social marginality. Discover the photographies on our section [**Artistic Lab**](http://artisticlab.forumviesmobiles.org/en/neo-nomads-a-lifestyle-of-the-future#595).

Research participants

Researchers

 

Contact : Anaïs Lefranc-Morin

This scientific and artistic interdisciplinary research project explores the world of contemporary, non-traditional nomads who break with sedentary living to reconnect with the principle of the mobile habitat (outfitted trucks), without belonging to the Gypsy or Romani traditions. The purpose is to identify the specificities of this little-known way of life: its political and cultural foundations, the beliefs and values associated with it, as well as its specific knowledge and craftsmanship that constitute a common culture far beyond geographic or social marginality. The project underlines their relation to mobility: the way in which the neo-nomads’ travel modes influences their link to land is also closely examined in order to identify their ways of spatial anchoring.

The research will examine the impact of this relation to mobility on broader societal change. The project hypothesizes that the neo-nomadic lifestyle, currently marginal, may become more widespread in the future. It may herald new spatial and professional anchorings, as well as new habitat and mobility models. Research will focus particularly on studying this mobile way of life in its innovative aspects: in a world marked by the ‘mobility shift’, neo-nomadism is one possible answer to the redefining of relations between anchoring and mobility, rootedness and freedom. It originality consists in the ambition of assessing contemporary mechanisms of mobility by offering an anthropological analysis of roads and roadsides.

The noLand collective - photographer Ferjeux van der Stigghel, architect Sophie Greiller, anthropologist Maude Reitz and sociologist Yves Pedrazzini- conducts the investigation. The project is driven by extensive fieldwork, based on immersion in neo-nomadic communities, experience sharing and life stories (in the tradition of participatory observation), in order to determine logics and customs associated with this nomad way of life. Collective members mobilize the methodologies and tools of their respective fields to combine their approaches and offer a clear understanding of neo-nomadic worlds.

This work takes a camp in Estaque, near Marseille, as its starting point. It will continue along the roads of France.

In 2013, the project resulted in a first exhibit, Travellers, settlements and city fringes , held at the Maison Rouge (Paris), the Yes we camp (Marseille). A second exhibit enriched with new photographs, Neo-nomads, settlements and roadsides, was held at the Havre university library in November 2014.

This project is part of the Mobile Lives Forum’s research axis: Understanding. Mobile and immobile lives: how do we experience mobility today?

Mobility

For the Mobile Lives Forum, mobility is understood as the process of how individuals travel across distances in order to deploy through time and space the activities that make up their lifestyles. These travel practices are embedded in socio-technical systems, produced by transport and communication industries and techniques, and by normative discourses on these practices, with considerable social, environmental and spatial impacts.

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Lifestyle

A lifestyle is a composition of daily activities and experiences that give sense and meaning to the life of a person or a group in time and space.

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Neo-nomadism

It is the mobility of his/her home that characterizes the nomad; thus the “neo-nomad” or traveller, who recycles a modified vehicle as a travelling home, positions himself or herself on the fringes of contemporary societies dominated by the values of sedentariness and residence.

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To cite this publication :

Sophie Greiller et Yves Pedrazzini (22 October 2013), « noLand’s man – A Survey of the Values and Practices of an Invisible People », Préparer la transition mobilitaire. Consulté le 04 December 2022, URL: https://forumviesmobiles.org/en/project/1482/nolands-man-survey-values-and-practices-invisible-people


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