Geografie znevýhodnění


Jet pěšky / Geografie „vozíčkářů a vozíčkářek“

Robert Osman

This chapter targets the spacetime experience of wheelchair users. In particular, it describes the experience of five people who were born with muscular dystrophy in the second half of the 1970s, and who use an electric wheelchair in their everyday activities. My concern with this experience has lasted more than 7 years (2010–2017) and has prompted a retrospective. The chapter therefore has at least two aims, one methodical and one empirical. The latter is a description of wheelchair users’ spacetime experience itself; the former is to convincingly produce evidence for how every understanding is always necessarily contextual, temporary, unfinished, and, hence, also unfinishable. Both aims are together fulfilled by an account of the evolution of my understanding of wheelchair users’ spacetime experience. Due to the wide range of this 7-years project, it is not possible to capture the whole evolution of my understanding in the scope of one chapter. Therefore, I decided to limit myself to a part of this experience that is represented by the expression ‘ride on foot’. Recently, I have come to understand it as an experience of riding through space that is not normally designated as riding; as an experience of learnt verticality of space that is necessary for its continual passableness; as an experience of riding through a very limited number of ‘beaten’ corridors which often have no alternatives, and, hence, movement within them is organised more temporally than spatially; as an experience that does not depend on a particular topography of space but is topological, above all; and as an experience of a discontinuous and dysfluent ride that requires constant slowing down, stopping, starting up again, and acceleration. It is an experience whose ideal becomes smooth and fluent movement without stops, inclining, or needless clattering. It is the rider’s experience on pavement.