Parkour Tutorials (2010-2012)
"Throughout the fieldwork process, illustration was used to build rapport with participants. I offered the parkour community my services to produce a series of movement tutorials that they would be able to use as teaching resources. Each illustration was the result of many hours of consultation with experienced practitioners and instructors. Ethnographically, these were incredible interview opportunities."
Visualizing Parkour (2009-2015)
Graphic ethnography presented as digitized ink and watercolour drawings on paper.
"Visualizing Parkour is related to an ethnography conducted from 2009 to 2015 on the movement subculture of parkour. Comics and illustration were a part of my methodology for my PhD (awarded in 2016) and subsequent monograph, Visualizing Parkour. This work is also part of an ongoing project in comics ethnography. Included are a grouping of field notes and diagrammatic illustrations from that project, conducted in Australia, Canada, the United States, England, France, Russia and the Ukraine.
Field notes were taken in both written and visual-forms; movement techniques were turned into diagrams with community support; a weekly web-comic based on participant input was produced and comic vignettes were used to tell field storeis and present people, locations and movement techniques. The materials offered here are examples of the kind of material that underpins comic ethnography.
Alex Pavlotski is an anthropologist and comic artist from Melbourne, Australia. His first fieldwork was done with comics artists in Japan and since then he has worked to integrate scientific analysis, ethnography and the medium of comics. His research interests are comics and visual anthropology, theories of play, movement subcultures, neuroanthropology, masculinities, intercultural communication and reactionary identities. He is affiliated with University of Auckland in NZ and Latrobe University in Melbourne.