With populism and nationalism on the rise, Fabian Saul takes to the streets of Europe in search of traces of resistance. His method of choice: Flaneuring. He critically assesses this method and the privileges that make it possible in the first place.
For his project “Traces of Resistance”, Fabian Saul travels to Dublin, Newry, Glasgow, Carlisle and London. Once there, he sets off in search of traces of resistance, while also examining the subject of borders and the role they play for those living on either side; hence, taking a closer look at how the borders between Ireland and Northern Ireland (by Newry), and Scotland and England (by Carlisle), are perceived and related to by the local population.
Stories of resistance
For the past five years, Saul has travelled Europe. He conducts his research in the street, which becomes both a starting point and a reference for his stories; and the place he always comes back to. Saul uses flaneuring as a way of discovering streets and the tales of resistance they hold. His novel “Traces of Resistance”, set to appear in 2019, recounts the various stories of resistance collected in the streets he visited.
As the chapters progress, a fictitious map emerges, where the Kantstraße in Berlin borders directly on the Tangier market and the big Stadiou street in Athens is around the corner from Maidan Square. This enables individual anecdotes of specific streets to develop into stories of their own, in which various types of resistance connect people far beyond their local context.
A European story
Saul collects, discusses and classifies stories with their individual protagonists on location. For a more polyphonic approach, he includes complementary and contradictory views from other amblers, authors, historians, activists or artists. Faced with a resurgence of nationalism and a deep European crisis, he attempts to create a multifaceted European story, combining a wide variety of perspectives. The streets of London, Carlisle, Glasgow, Newry and Dublin as places of remembrance tell stories of borderlines being drawn and transcended, of dependence and independence.
Fabian Saul & Flaneur
Fabian Saul is a Berlin-based author, composer and editor-in-chief of Flaneur Magazine. His work is often interdisciplinary and nomadic. He operates at the interface of music, text and film. The background of his work is a study of philosophy in Berlin. While his musical work as a composer of film music is in the foreground in Berlin, his work as a writer and editor-in-chief of the Flaneur magazine takes him to numerous cities, to which he dedicates himself with microscopic precision.
Flaneur is a nomadic, independent magazine focussing on one street per issue. The magazine embraces the street’s complexity, its layers and fragmented nature with a literary approach. The content of the magazine is produced by artists of all disciplines while Fabian and his team spend two months on location. It is made using a collaborative, impulsive and unconventional approach. The magazine attempts to use a single microcosm to tell universal stories.
The Hackney Brook is one of London’s many underground rivers. Rising near Tufnell Park and connecting the neighbourhoods of Holloway, Islington, Stoke and Newington and Hackney, this hidden waterway suggests a different, underlying geometry of the city. In an attempt to walk the path the river draws, it reveals connections and disruptions in the cityscape and often sparks hidden layers to reappear. The text by Fabian Saul is organised as notes of on-going research that utilizes the immediacy of the impulses that create the text, in order to find ways into a city that often is fabricated and suggests ways of consumption – and narration – which aren’t always easy to become aware of and critically assess.