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Social & Cultural Geography, Vol. 11, No. 8, December 2010 ‘We close towns for a living’: spatial transformation and the Tour de France Catherine Palmer School of Applied Social Sciences, Durham University, Durham DH1 3HN, UK, catherine.palmer@durham.ac.uk This paper explores the ways in which the passage of the Tour de France bicycle race through France produces a distinctive cultural cartography or social map of France. Drawing on Lefebvre’s (1991) conceptual triad of spatial practice, representations of space and representational spaces, the paper argues that the Tour de France both represents and is a space that is annually reordered and structured by very particular cultural practices. Through an analysis of the process (and politics) of route selection, the incorporation of iconic landscape and the transformation of civic space as the race moves across the country, the paper foregrounds the socially constructed nature of map making and the role of human intervention in producing and reproducing key cultural cartographies of France through the Tour de France. Key words: Tour de France, cartographies, spatial transformation, Lefebvre, national identity. Introduction Since its inception in 1903, the Tour de France has long been invested with a range of social meanings and interpretations. A bicycle race that annually circumnavigates France (and ventures into neighbouring countries on occasion), covering 3,500 km in the process, provides a unique opportunity through which to examine the production of a cultural cartography or social map of France. To do this, I begin by introducing some preliminary details about the Tour de France and how the race has become the object of ‘map work’. I then discuss the politics and pragmatics of selecting the itinerary of the race each year, before documenting the spatial transformation of the towns and villages the Tour de France visits. Drawing on Lefebvre’s (1991) conceptual triad of ‘spatial practice’, ‘representations of space’ and ‘representational spaces’, my concern throughout is to foreground the socially constructed nature of route making and the role of human intervention in producing and reproducing key cultural cartographies of France through the Tour de France. The paper draws on two periods of ethnographic fieldwork I undertook in France; one in the mid-1990s, the other in late 2007 ISSN 1464-9365 print/ISSN 1470-1197 online/10/080865-17 q 2010 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/14649365.2010.523841 866 Catherine Palmer where my concern was to examine the social construction of the Tour de France as a means of negotiating identity at a local, regional and national level (Palmer 1996, 1998a, 1998b, 2001). I draw particularly on a series of interviews I conducted with members of La Société du Tour de France—the organisation charged with orchestrating the Tour de France—as well as ethnographic observations of the movement of the riders and their entourage across France. Broad themes emerged from the detailed field notes I took through the observations which were then triangulated through the eight, in-depth interviews I undertook with La Société du Tour de France. The spatial transformation of landscape, and the role of the Tour in reproducing particular understandings of ‘Frenchness’, were among the key themes that emerged through both these interviews and my observations of the Tour in motion. To supplement the interview and observational data, the paper also draws on an analysis of secondary and archival sources. Journalists and other commentators have covered the Tour for more than a century, which provides a rich repository of written and photographic records from which to document the development of particular maps—both real and imagined—of France by the Tour de France. The two periods of ethnographic fieldwork, conducted nearly a decade part, enable a number of reflections on the changing nature of the Tour. In 2007, the race was increasingly global (the peloton was far more international, a greater range of transnational companies, were sponsoring the teams), the forms of media coverage had expanded to include new technologies such as live internet streaming and podcasts, as well as the traditional press, television and radio coverage, and there was an increased interest in towns and countries outside of France to host a stage start or finish.1 In 2007, the spectre of doping had also cast its shadow over the Tour in ways that were largely absent from the Tour in the mid1990s. While important to contextualise the Tour as an event that is far from static, elaborating these shifts are, however, beyond the scope of this paper, with its focus on the role of human intervention and agency in producing and reproducing key cultural cartographies of France through the Tour de France. Indeed, despite these shifts, the consistent theme to emerge in both periods of fieldwork was the spatial transformation of urban and rural spaces by the Tour de France, and the ways in which the Tour produces particular narratives and images of ‘Frenchness’ that are both reproduced and, in some cases, contested at one and the same time. Sport, space and place The study of sport has much to offer human geography and a cultural sociology of space and place that ‘takes its departure point from an understanding of socio-spatial relations as both a question of material constraint and enabling capacities, as well as a realm of symbolic meanings and re-presentations at spatial scales from the body to the global’ (Richardson and Jensen 2003: 8). Since the early 1990s, geographers such as John Bale (1988, 1990, 1994, 2001) have detailed the symbolic capacity of stadia, courts, pitches, gymnasiums and ovals to advance our knowledge about the ways in which people invest sporting spaces and places with meanings and interpretations (Bale and Vertinsky 2004; Wagner 1981). Sports stadia also play key roles in constructing and conferring club-based Spatial transformation and the Tour de France identities through demarcating space for club supporters or providing the focal point for pilgrimages and other displays of place-based loyalties and affiliation to a locale or region (Fulton and Bairner 2007; Tangen 2004). In what Soja (2003) has described as an interdisciplinary ‘spatial turn’, sociologists, anthropologists and others with an interest in the cultural meanings of sport have begun to examine the role of sporting spaces in the production of forms of identity such as class (Eichberg 1998), gender (Andrews, Sudwell and Sparkes 2005; McSorley 1999; Waitt 2008) and sexuality (Costello and Hodge 1999; Skeggs 1998; van Ingen 2003; Waitt 2003), particularly the inequalities that are embedded or ‘emplaced’ within (Lobao, Hooks and Tickamyer 2007; Tickamyer 2000). Soja’s interdisciplinary spatial turn has also seen the social sciences examine the role of sport in civic image making (Waitt 2000) and in facilitating a spatially constructed imagined unity (Palmer 2001, 2002)—two concepts to which I will return. Sport also plays a role in ‘place-making’. McGuirk and Rowe (2001; Rowe and McGuirk 1999), for example, demonstrate the connections between place identity and celebration rituals in relation to Rugby League in the Australian town of Newcastle, while Bairner (2008) considers the importance of place in the construction of a ‘national’ sports stadium in Belfast against a backdrop of collective memory and cultural division. Increasingly, scholars are paying attention to resistant or alternative readings of sport and leisure spaces through analyses of sports where movements are regarded as alternative spatial practice. Here, research has primarily been concerned to document the ways in which leisure activities such as snowboarding, parkour, geocacheing, ultimate frisbee and skateboarding appropriate urban and rural 867 spaces in ways that confront the preferred uses of these spaces (Borden 2001; Daskalaki, Stara and Imas 2008; Griggs 2009; Humphreys 1997; Nolan 2003; Saville 2008; Stratford 2002). The rhythm and movement of cycling also draws attention to a growing body of literature on ‘mobilities’. Much of this, however, is about how people articulate their own experiences of cycling, rather than watching the movement of cyclists as spectators. Jones (2005), for example, writes about his personal experiences of cycle commuting in a major British city, Fincham (2006) explores the risks and pleasures of being a bicycle courier, while Spinney (2007) takes a broad overview of cycling in urban environments. Cycle touring and recreational cycling have been analysed by Pesses (2010) and Spinney (2006), while Albert (1990, 1991) provides an account of the norms and dynamics of competitive cycling. In the case of the Tour de France, much of the enjoyment of the Tour as a sporting spectacle is how the riders move through space together, a point to which I return. What is implicit in this body of research is an acknowledgement that the space of sport is the product of human intervention and accomplishment. That is, the particular meanings that develop in relation to a sports event, site or locality do not occur ‘naturally’, but are the product of considerable cultural work by the producers and users of these sporting spaces. As van Ingen notes, sporting spaces are ‘inexorably linked to the social construction of dominant ideologies and the politics of identity’ (2003: 209 –210). Such notions of the social construction and production of ‘sporting space’ resonate with the influential ideas of Henri Lefebvre (1991). For Lefebvre, space is where social relationships are expressed; space is ‘nothing’ until it is 868 Catherine Palmer made visible through the social relations that occur within sites, places, localities, borders and margins. As Lefebvre writes: social relations, which are concrete abstractions, have no real existence save in and through space. Their underpinning is spatial. In each particular case the connection between this underpinning and the relations it supports call for further analysis. (1991: 404) Lefebvre goes on to identify three types of spatial relations that can usefully inform the following discussion of the Tour de France: (1) spatial practice, (2) representations of space and (3) representational spaces. Spatial practice, for Lefebvre, refers to the production and reproduction of spatial relations between objects and products in ways that maintain continuity and coherence within a given social order. As Lefebvre writes: ‘in terms of social space and of each member of a given society’s relationship to that space, this cohesion implies a guaranteed level of competence and a specific level of performance’ (1991: 33). Representations of space, by contrast, are ‘tied to the relations of production and to the “order” which those relations impose, and hence to knowledge, to signs, to codes, and to “frontal” relations’ (Lefebvre 1991: 33). They also refer to a ‘conceptualised space, the space of scientists, planners, urbanist technocratic subdividers and social engineers, as of a certain type of artist with a scientific bent— all of whom identify what is lived and what is perceived and with what is conceived’ (Lefebvre 1991: 38). Finally, representational spaces refer to spaces that are ‘“lived” directly through its associated images and symbols and hence the space of inhabitants and users’ (Lefebvre 1991: 39). In the case of the Tour de France, spatial practice refers to the social and spatial relations that are produced and reproduced through a cultural and literal map of France that is generated by a series of key cultural brokers in selecting the route the race follows. Representational space refers to how urban space is re-ordered as ‘Tour space’ with the arrival of the Tour de France, and its attendant images, icons and symbols. Spaces of representation refer to the particular narratives of regionality and nationhood expressed and embellished through the annual return of the Tour de France. Borrowing from Lefebvre, I argue that the Tour de France is a product of on-going spatial relations; it both represents and is a space that is ordered and structured by very particular cultural practices that are brought into being and progressively elaborated by its annual return. Mapping France Since its inception, the Tour de France has embodied what Vigarello describes as ‘the image of a France united by its earth’ (2003: 67). From the outset, the race provided a mechanism through which people could come to know and understand the culture and geography of France. As part of their daily coverage of the Tour de France, journalists on the newspaper L’Auto (the original sponsor of the Tour de France) provided information about the people, food and lifestyle of the departèments the Tour would visit as it moved across the country. As Thompson writes, ‘the paper turned the race’s itinerary into an annual lesson in French geography, featuring maps, topographical profiles, and detailed schedules of the racers’ expected times of arrival in communities along the itinerary’ (2006: 64). Far more recently, technological innovations such as Google Street View, live internet streaming from the race and interactive Spatial transformation and the Tour de France websites featuring route profiles among other things have radically changed the ways in which the geography of France is communicated to the global audience who follow the Tour de France. This coupling of culture and geography has become the leitmotif par excellence of the Tour de France. Described in the 1930s as ‘a month-long parade of adorable skies, wonderful countrysides, provincial costumes; it’s the music of accents, patois, colours’ (L’Auto, 5 July 1934), such discursive constructions continue to dominate representations of the Tour de France. As Vigarello describes it, the Tour is a ‘kind of mythic journey through ancient provinces, littered with sacred ruins, the bones of Saints, great mountain ranges and scenes of former battles’ (1992: 886). The varied geographical and cultural landscape traversed by the Tour de France offers an ‘itinerary that is dotted with historic sites, settings and locations that evoke important moments or figures in the nation’s life’ (Thompson 2006: 52). Of course, such narrative constructions of culture made visible through geography do not occur naturally. The map(s) of France produced by the Tour de France are the product of human intervention and accomplishment. As de Certeau notes, ‘any map is a manipulation of space’ (1984: 119), and the meanings that have developed in relation to France and the Tour de France are the result of considerable cultural work by the producers and consumers of the spectacle that is the Tour. To elaborate this, I begin by sketching the process of route selection before turning to the social map of France that is produced by the passage of the race along this route, and a discussion of the transformation of civic space that the passage of the race effects. 869 Agents of spatial practice: the politics and pragmatics of selection To return to Lefebvre’s conceptual triad, the first ‘point’ to make up the social relations of space is what Lefebvre (1991) defines as ‘spatial practice’, or what people ‘do’ in space; how people produce and also consume the spaces they visit or inhabit. In the case of the Tour de France, spatial practice is particularly evident in the way in which the race route is created and generated by key social actors or what I call ‘agents of spatial practice’ through their selection of the cities, towns and villages that the Tour will visit. As I have addressed elsewhere, these agents of spatial practice are ‘cultural brokers’ (Palmer 2000). Consisting of media personnel, local officials, corporate promoters, publicists, team managers and team sponsors, among others, the role of the broker is to present a series of creative and well-chosen images and ideas about the Tour de France for broader, public consumption. Of these cultural brokers, the core group of La Société du Tour de France plays a key role. With strategic and operational oversight over the running of the Tour, La Société decides, among other things, which teams will contest the Tour, where the riders will sleep at night and which media organisations will broadcast the unfolding events of the race. La Société du Tour de France also decide the itinerary for the Tour each year, although this is not without certain limitations. Concerns for rider welfare have limited the overall length of the race to a maximum of 3,500 km spread over 21 days (including two compulsory rest days), during which a maximum daily distance of 225 km cannot be exceeded more than twice. In an interview with the former Tour Director, Jean-Marie Leblanc, 870 Catherine Palmer Marchetti (2003: 32) notes the parameters for deciding the route are further limited by the demands placed on the media to rapidly disseminate the results of each day’s stage. Stages normally finish no later than 5.30 pm to enable journalists to make their copy deadlines. In such instances of spatial practice, particular forms of social relations and regulation impact upon the construction of the race route and the consequent map of France that the Tour produces. To develop this point more fully, the more nuanced work of determining the actual route of the Tour takes place against a backdrop of a number of key questions that underscore the strategic and political nature of place-making (Lefebvre 1991). Which sites and locations are to be celebrated (and which ones overlooked) as the race moves across the country? Which images of ‘the French’ are to be presented as authentic, and which ones dismissed as inauthentic? While I will return to such questions of authenticity and identity shortly, the point to note here is that selecting the itinerary each year requires a number of strategic decisions and choices on the part of the agents of spatial practice charged with running the Tour de France. Indeed, the politics of selection—as an embodiment of spatial practice—highlight the socially constructed nature of map making and the role of human intervention in producing and reproducing particular cultural cartographies of France through the Tour de France. Moving bollards: the pragmatics of route selection Given the global media attention the race attracts, hosting a stage start or finish is enormously appealing for towns and villages. The riders, their entourage, media, sponsors, officials and other Tour personnel (as well as spectating tourists) require food and accommodation and they spend money in bars and on souvenirs, in doing so, injecting income into the local economy.2 Not surprisingly, bidding for the right to host a stage of the Tour de France is fierce. In 2008, 252 towns applied to host a stage start or finish. Of these, forty towns were chosen for inclusion in the race itinerary in 2010 (Le Tour 2010). The grounds for selection are a combination of the town’s geographical location—public expectations demand the regular inclusion of certain localities such as the final stage being held along the Champs Elysées and stages that traverse the high mountain passes in the French Alps and the Pyrénées—as well as its capacity to accommodate the huge physical infrastructure and personnel that accompany the race each day. As the bids are received from prospective host towns, La Société du Tour de France begins to plot out a potential race route. Despite the technological sophistication that surrounds the governance and performance of much of professional cycling, this process is remarkably low-tech. Using a wall map of France and a box of coloured drawing pins, La Société starts to plan the itinerary that the race will follow some two or three years later. Once a potential route has been drafted, a preliminary reconnaissance is then undertaken by the general commissioners of La Société du Tour de France. Here, the logistics of accommodating a landing pad for an air ambulance, parking spaces for hundreds of VIPs and dignitaries and a race entourage in excess of 4,000 people are assessed, along with the accuracy of distances, elevation and so forth, and the conditions that the riders will encounter when arriving—at great speed— into a town, with due regard for public safety. Spatial transformation and the Tour de France Once a town is deemed suitable for inclusion as a stage village, it is then given twelve months’ notice to plan for the arrival of the Tour. Municipal authorities must prepare their town in strict accordance with the specifications issued by La Société du Tour de France. La Société provides each stage village with a detailed report on what is required, including how many tables and chairs, telephone lines and flower bouquets, among other things, they will need. During my first fieldwork period in the mid-1990s, the alpine town of Moûtiers, which hosted a stage in 1994, was ordered to roughen the surface of the cobblestones in the finishing straight to provide the necessary grip on a road that was deemed hazardous for the riders. In the same year, the town of Montluçon was ordered to take up fifteen traffic islands and roundabouts to enable the safe passage of the riders through its town centre.3 The enormity of the Tour de France, both as a global mega-event and a cultural institution, means that such requests for spatial transformation are rarely challenged. In an interview with the popular English-language cycling magazine Cycle Sport, Jean-Marie Leblanc recognises that: We are lucky because we take advantage of the Tour de France’s media influence and economic weight. If I say to a mayor, ‘to have the Tour de France you must take up those three roundabouts and alter those two’ he will do it. If you ask him to do the same thing for the Classique des Alpes or the Tour de l’Oise he won’t do it. (July 1996: 32) 871 producer for France Télévision then traces the route looking for images and visual iconography that will showcase the rich and diverse landscape and history of France. As JeanMarie Leblanc recounts in his interview with Marchetti: The producer aims to show not only the Tour de France but also the tour of France as a country. He reconnoitres the race route for weeks before the Tour—he follows the road and takes notes of a château to the right, here a bridge, there a cathedral on the left—everything is noted down and given to the cameramen so that they know all the time what they should be showing in addition to the race in order to direct it and put it in its context. We are lucky to live in a country which is extremely diverse, which has a history and a culture, all kinds of attractions, and that, also, for me is another of the keys to the success of the Tour. (2003: 45) Such comments return us to the questions of identity and authenticity posed earlier, and indeed, the strategic and political nature of place making (Lefebvre 1991). As Leblanc’s comments suggest, selecting the itinerary each year requires a number of decisions and choices about what to include and omit by the agents of spatial practice. As agents of spatial practice or cultural brokers, the media are largely responsible for the selection and reproduction of a bundle of narrative themes that emphasise very particular versions of ‘French-ness’, and it is to these that I now turn. Imagining France: representational spaces Although rider and public safety is paramount in route selection, the mapping of the Tour is also done with an eye for particular images that will allow for a visual representation (and subsequent narrative embellishment) of an iconic France. Once the route is decided, the As noted earlier, Lefebvre’s notion of ‘representational spaces’ refers to spaces that are ‘“lived” through images and symbols’ (1991: 39). In the case of the Tour de France, this is taken to be the ways in which people 872 Catherine Palmer experience the Tour de France as a source of iconic representations of France. As I elaborate in this section, the route of the Tour de France has long traced the physical boundaries of the Ancien Régime in ways that resonate with historic notions of national identity, unity and regionality to produce an iconic reading of a ‘quintessential’ France.4 Despite unrest in the banlieux of Paris, riots among second- and third-generation immigrants, and political and public debates that promote a number of exclusionary discourses within France,5 the idea of the nation as one is the dominant narrative device of the Tour de France. Popular sentiment particularly reflects the ability of the Tour de France to unite the nation as one: Jean-Luc,6 a rider in the department of Isère where I conducted my first period of fieldwork, maintains: ‘it is a race that we all have in common. It is a communion between us that has lasted since the time of Maurice Garin [the winner of the first Tour de France]’. Whether watching the race from a vantage point along the route, reading about it in the newspaper or discussing it in a bar or a café, the annual return of the Tour connects people in ways that resonate with a highly imagined sense of national unity. As Vigarello writes, ‘the triumph of the Tour de France is the image of a France unified by the soil, stronger, without a doubt, than the France unified by language or morals’ (1989: 163). The Tour is, in other words, a spatially constructed imagined unity or what Silk (2004: 349) refers to as a ‘spatial imagination’ that is infused with social and historical perspectives. Key to the narrative construction of the Tour de France and the social map it both traces and produces is the promotion of regional diversity. In mapping France, the Tour both exploits the geographical features of individual regions and links each with France as a whole. That is, national identity is mediated by local experiences to construct the nation as one. Described by Vigarello as a ‘valorization, above all, of the landscape’ (1989: 163), the Tour de France is the perfect showcase for regional difference. The tranquillity of the Alps stands in opposition to the urban landscape of Paris (Figures 1 and 2), the dramatic coast line of Brittany is most pronounced when compared to the lapping shores of the Mediterranean, and the single-storey whitewashed villas of Rousillon are distinctive in opposition to the gaudy hirise complexes that line the Côte d’Azur. As it moves across the countryside, the Tour highlights the contrasting landscapes of France; it constructs a variety of ‘Frances’ for popular consumption. The geographical diversity of France is, of course, made most visible by the media. As the Tour unfolds, a range of new archetypal images is highlighted, the cumulative effect producing an enduring pattern of ‘Frenchness’. For example, every morning throughout the three weeks of the race, the television program Autour du Tour features a segment entitled ‘La Découverte de la Ville de sa Région’ which provides an overview of the towns and regions which will come under the Tour spotlight. By mentioning its food, produce and notable historic sites, each region is elevated to a state of pre-eminence (albeit briefly) as the Tour moves across France. The analytical point to emphasise is that while the Tour de France is emblematic of national character, its iconic status as the ‘guardian of [French] cultural memory’ (Thompson 2006) can only ever be enhanced and articulated at the local level, particularly in light of its forays into neighbouring countries. It is the piecing together of various local and regional images that together produce a sense of a nation as one. The resources, however, through which local Spatial transformation and the Tour de France 873 Figure 1 The Tour in Paris. Figure 2 The Tour in the French Alps. identities can be articulated are numerous: commemorative bottles of wine, T-shirts, coffee mugs, cigarette lighters, cuff-links, refrigerator magnets and postcards, among other things, are used to highlight the geographical and cultural distinctiveness of the individual regions that the race passes through. Food occupies a key place in such regional imagery. In Livarot for example, a town the race passed through in 2007, a gigantic wheel of cheese, prominently displayed alongside the finish line, drew attention to Normandy’s dairy industry, while in the Rhône Alps, bottles of wine from the Côtes du Rhône region featured on flags and banners welcoming the Tour into the region. Indeed, the annual return of the Tour de France opens up a number of spaces of representation through which local regions can articulate their identity vis-à-vis the national. The tourist industry particularly picks up on these gastronomic impressions of regional identity, incorporating them into brochures and pamphlets (Figure 3). The various leaflets, 874 Catherine Palmer Figure 3 Regional images of the Tour, food and wine. newsletters and magazines that detail the Tour’s itinerary contribute to this cultural cartography of France. Through such representations, we discover that perdreau (partridge) and pineau (a brandy fortified wine) are delicacies of the Limousin region, and that Pau, at the foot of the Pyrénées, is the centre of the Armagnac industry. Other pamphleteering advises that ‘while in Perigord, one must sample the regional delicacies of foie gras and foie d’oie’, and ‘while waiting for the riders, perhaps one could spend the morning searching for the elusive “black diamonds” [truffles] of the region’ (Les Evénements du Limousin, summer 2007: 1). When the Tour travelled through Beaujolais in both 1993 and 1994, the local vignobles seized upon the opportunity to contribute to this culinary cartography of France. A general brochure announcing road closures, accommodation listings and the names of local restaurants was put out by the wine makers from the Côtes du Rhône under the heading: ‘wines here are like the ambience—light and sunny—but are best enjoyed in their native environment, so raise a glass to the passing peloton’. As such accounts make clear, the Tour de France literally traces out a map of France that is both topographical and cultural. Of course, the Tour de France itself cannot do this—it is, after all, a bike race. I have discussed elsewhere the socially constructed and ‘fetishised’ nature of the Tour de France (Palmer 1996): the point to note here is that the map of France is produced, in the first instance by the agents of spatial practice that is then repeatedly worked upon by the producers and consumers of this very public event so as to yield a range of narratives, images and symbols that are brought into being and progressively elaborated by the passage of the Tour across France. Such points underscore the socially constructed nature of map making and the role of human intervention in producing and reproducing cultural cartographies of France through the kinds of spaces of representation I have discussed here. Through the passage of the Tour de France, the landscape of France becomes an ‘ethnoscape’; ‘a landscape of persons’ (Appadurai 1991: 198) through which social relations help to define its geographic characteristics. Like all nations, countries, regions and cities, France as a territory cannot exist without human agency, and the return of the Tour de France serves to make this maximally visible. ‘We close towns for a living’: representations of space To turn now to Lefebvre’s third point in his conceptual triad of the production of space, representations of space are crucially tied to the ‘order’ which relations of spatial production impose. In the case of the Tour de Spatial transformation and the Tour de France France, representations of space are taken to be the ways in which the civic space of the stage villages is transformed and recast as the space of the Tour de France in ways that are largely uncontested. In recasting civic space as ‘Tour space’, the aforementioned agents of spatial practice and the spaces of representation come together; representations of space occupy a middle ground between the production and consumption of sporting spaces, in doing so, highlighting the socially produced and constructed nature of space that I am centrally concerned with here. The physical transformation of urban space by the Tour de France is striking as entire host towns become engulfed by the race. Common garden areas and public spaces metamorphose to become the Village Départ (where the riders gather prior to the race start each morning), car and furniture show rooms become the media centre, and soccer pitches and rugby grounds are turned into landing pads for helicopters and the air ambulance, as well as impromptu camping grounds for the influx of tourists following the race. A veritable army of workers busy themselves by erecting scaffolding, placing port-a-loos and installing tiers of seating in anticipation of the swell of people that will wash over the stage village with the arrival of the race. Streets are closed off, traffic is diverted and barricades are erected, marking the route of the riders through the town (Figure 4). An apposite comment from JeanMarie Leblanc, the former director of the Tour, provides the title for this paper: ‘we close towns for a living’. For one stage finish in 2007, the church in the ski resort of Alpe d’Huez had been converted into the media centre. Nôtre Dame des Neiges was probably the only church where, for one day of the year at least, there were ashtrays in the nave, a bar in the vestry and where, as local rumour had it, 875 Figure 4 Route sign through towns. an organist was asked to leave because he was disturbing the journalists’ concentration. Alongside these transformations to much of the physical infrastructure of a stage village, a range of sites of popular culture are also introduced as part of the Tour’s arrival in a stage village. In addition to permanent bars and cafés, temporary food and drink stalls are set up selling over-priced beer and soft drinks, and merchandise stalls sell T-shirts, windbreakers, pullovers, posters, mini bicycles, maps of the route, videos and DVDs, bottles of commemorative wine and copies of team jerseys, including the maillot jaune (Figure 5). Elsewhere, pubs and clubs offer Tour promotions such as cheap drinks and half-priced entry passes. After dark activities include street parties, fireworks displays and concerts by prominent French and international bands. 876 Catherine Palmer Figure 5 Tour souvenir shop. In short, an entire town is recast as ‘Tour space’. Indeed, the restructuring of a stage village to accommodate not only vast numbers of personnel, but also an enormous physical infrastructure that includes sound systems, lighting rigs, stage scaffolding and fireworks detonators, among other things, brings to each stage village a complex web of interlinked social relations in which the agents of spatial practice and the spaces of representation come together to create a new representation of (Tour) space. Of course, key amongst the agents of spatial practice are the riders themselves. Much of the enjoyment of the Tour as a sporting spectacle is how the riders move through space together; how they organise their tactics on the road, how they jostle against one another in the high-speed sprints to the finish line; how they struggle against the terrain through the high mountain passes of the Alps and the Pyrénées. In many ways, the removal of street signs, the takeover of hotels and restaurants, and the restructuring of civic space that accompanies the Tour is a prelude to the arrival of the riders themselves. As the prime performers, the riders get the biggest reaction when they descend upon a stage village. The repeated cry of ‘allez! allez!’ echoes throughout the stage town as the riders race towards the finish line. When they appear in the finishing straight, the thousands of fans pressed into this section of roadway beat their hands against the barricades that keep them from spilling into the road. The din is deafening and crescendic, climaxing in an explosive roar of approval and applause as the jostling sprinters surge across the finish line. In the unfolding ‘spatial imagination’ of the Tour de France, the riders are elevated to a position of symbolic preeminence. Immediately following the stage, interviews with the winning riders and the key players in the day’s racing become the main focus, with television and radio commentaries being presented from the finishing straight, the commentator often appearing breathless and windblown, as if to simulate the frenetic pace of the race itself. Indeed, the Tour has a building momentum that culminates with the arrival of the riders themselves. While the spatial transformation of urban landscape brings about what Belanger (2000) has referred to as the ‘spectacularisation’ of urban landscapes, whereby cities are taken over by casinos, megaplexes, cinemas, themed restaurants, stadia and sporting complexes, an important distinction in the case of the Tour de France is that these do not outlast the staging of the event itself (Carter 2006). In the case of the Tour de France, the transformation is temporary, reflecting the postmodern maxim that ‘culture is no longer built to last’ (Baudrillard 1990). In the days immediately following the departure of the Tour from a stage village, civic space is once more reconstituted and reordered. Barricades and scaffolding are dismantled, and the start and finish areas, the television commentary boxes, the race jury headquarters, the medical centre and portable toilets are all removed. Even the row of Fiat logos stencilled on to the finishing Spatial transformation and the Tour de France straight is blasted off with a high-pressure water hose so that the space of a town as it is customarily imagined is reinstalled. It is this constant tension between disrupting space to accommodate the arrival of a global mega-event and the re-constitution of ‘normal’ space that makes the Tour de France a unique site for the study of the social meanings that are made and expressed through particular uses or representations of space. As such accounts make clear, this re-ordering of civic space is dependent on the interrelationship between agents of spatial practice and spaces of representation to negotiate the production of a particular kind of spatial imagination through the spatial modalities that are embedded in the Tour de France. Counter cartographies While the staging of the Tour de France is largely unchallenged in dominant discourses and readings of the race, it also provides an opportunity for the production of resistant or counter cartographies of the Tour that offer a counter or resistant cartography to the ‘official’ map of France produced by the race organisers, host towns and villages, commercial sponsors and media organisations alike. Its use of public roads and the extensive media coverage it receives means the Tour is vulnerable to various protest groups.7 As I document elsewhere (Palmer 2001), this is particularly the case when the Tour travels into the Basque region on the French and Spanish border. Here, road invasions by proBasque supporters are common. The Basque flag is painted on the road the race travels over, and spectators wearing Basque hats and waving Basque flags are among the iconography of Basque separatism seen when the Tour enters the region. 877 On the whole, however, the temporary nature of the Tour—it is in and out of a stage village within twenty-four hours, and many of the towns and villages it visits experience little more than a blur of carbon fibre and colour as the cyclists speed through—means that it is met with very little resistance by residents, with subversive behaviour extending to the occasional theft (usually by tourists keen for a souvenir) of route signs such as that featured in Figure 4. Conclusion In this paper, I have been concerned with the ways in which the Tour de France produces a social map of France and transforms the civic spaces it encounters in the process. My analysis has been informed by Lefebvre’s (1991) conceptual triad of ‘spatial practice’, ‘representations of space’ and ‘representational spaces’. From the material presented, several analytical themes emerge. First and foremost is the role of human intervention in map making and the production of topographical and cultural cartographies of a country, in this case France. The agents of spatial practice or cultural brokers who are instrumental to the strategic and operational running of the Tour de France decide where the race route goes and what the Tour-produced map of France looks like, in doing so, highlighting the strategic nature of map making. Indeed, the selection of stage villages, and the inclusion of key localities such as the final stage along the Champs Elysées or stages that traverse the high mountain passes in the French Alps and the Pyrénées are not arbitrary decisions but the product of cultural work on the part of these agents of spatial practice that speak to Hobsbawm and Ranger’s (1992) notion of 878 Catherine Palmer the invention of tradition or Anderson’s imagined community (1986). Following on from this, the inclusion of particular sites and locations highlights the importance of regionality in constructing the dominant narrative of the Tour de France as a nation as one. As I have argued here, the expression of national identity through the Tour de France is done at the local and regional level. It is the piecing together of various local and regional images that together produce a sense of a unified France that has much cultural currency in discursive constructions and representations of the Tour de France. As a particular space of sport, the Tour de France provides a useful point of entry into considering the social meanings of landscape and territory in ways that reflect both the complex and contradictory nature of contemporary France as well as the symbolic capacities of sporting mega-events to articulate the socially constructed nature of space. As I have argued here, the annual return of the Tour de France provides a particularly compelling account of the ways in which the spatial landscape of France is constructed by social relations. Acknowledgements I would like to thank the three anonymous reviewers for their helpful reading of an earlier version of this paper. Notes 1 2 In 2004, the Tour visited Belgium, while in 2007, the race started in London. In a related vein, the perceived capacity of sporting events to inject investment into local, regional and national economies through large-scale urban regeneration projects has been a dominant discursive construction in studies of the social and spatial 3 4 5 6 7 impacts of sport since the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 (Chalkley and Essex 1998; Dickinson and Shipway 2007; Eisinger 2000; Essex and Chalkley 1999; Friedman, Andrews and Silk 2004; Ohmann, Jones and Wilkes 2006; Thornley 2002). The costs of these preparations are normally met by La Société du Tour de France or a region’s development authority, however, the stage town may also invest in these preparations. The Ancien Régime refers to the French social and political system prior to the Revolution of 1789. The Ancien Régime covered a territory of around 200,000 square miles and supported about 20 million people. I am thinking here of recent debates about the wearing of conspicuous religious symbols in schools that are considered by many to specifically target the wearing of headscarves by Muslim women. All names used are pseudonyms. Palmer (2001) and Polo (2003) both provide accounts of other incidences of protest and sabotage at the Tour de France. References Albert, E. (1990) Constructing the order of finish in the sport of bicycle racing, Journal of Popular Culture 23(4): 145–155. Albert, E. (1991) Riding a line: competition and cooperation in the sport of bicycle racing, Sociology of Sport 8: 341 –361. Anderson, B. (1986) Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origins and Spread of Nationalism. London: Verso. Andrews, G., Sudwell, M. and Sparkes, A. (2005) Towards a geography of fitness: an ethnographic case study of the gym in British bodybuilding culture, Social Science & Medicine 60: 877 –891. Appadurai, A. 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Dickinson, J. and Shipway, R. (2007) The Impact of Events: A Resource Guide on the Impacts of Events. Oxford: HLST, Higher Education Academy. ,http://www.hlst.heacademy.ac.uk/resources/guides/.. Eichberg, H. (1998) Body Cultures: Essays on Sport, Space and Identity. London: Routledge. Eisinger, P. (2000) The politics of bread and circuses: building the city for the visitor class, Urban Affairs Review 35: 316–333. Essex, S. and Chalkley, B. (1999) Olympic Games: catalyst of urban change, Leisure Studies 17: 187 –206. Fincham, B. (2006) Bicycle messengers and the road to freedom, Sociological Review 54: 208 –222. Friedman, M., Andrews, D. and Silk, M. (2004) Sport and the façade of redevelopment in the postindustrial city, Sociology of Sport Journal 21(2): 119 –139. Fulton, G. and Barnier, A. (2007) Sport, space and national identity in Ireland: the GAA, Croke Park and Rule 42, Space and Polity 11(1): 55–74. 879 Griggs, G. 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(1998b) Le Tour du Monde: towards an anthropology of the global mega-event, The Australian Journal of Anthropology 9: 168–175. Palmer, C. (2000) Spin doctors and sports brokers: researching elites in contemporary sport—a research note on the Tour de France, International Review for the Sociology of Sport 35: 385 –398. 880 Catherine Palmer Palmer, C. (2001) Outside the imagined community: Basque terrorism, political activism and the Tour de France, Sociology of Sport Journal 18(2): 143 –161. Palmer, C. (2002) Wheels of fortune: nation, culture and the Tour de France, in Jenkins, H., McPherson, T. and Shattuc, J. (eds) Hop on Pop: The Pleasure and Politics of Popular Culture. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, pp. 499–604. Pesses, M.W. (2010) Automobility, vélomobility, American mobility: an exploration of the bicycle tour, Mobilities 5(1): 1–24. Polo, J.F. 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(2003) Geographies of gender, sexuality and race: reframing the focus on space in sport sociology, International Review for the Sociology of Sport 38: 201–216. Vigarello, G. (1989) Le Tour de France, una passion nationale, Sport Histoire 4: 163. Vigarello, G. (1992) Le Tour de France, in Nora, P. (ed.) Les Lieux de Mémoire. Paris: Gallimard, pp. 887–920. Vigarello, G. (2003) L’image d’une France unifiée par le sol, in Boeuf, J.-L. and Léonard, Y. (eds) Le Tour de France, La République du Tour de France. Paris: Seuil, p. 67. Wagner, P. (1981) Sport: culture and geography, in Pred, A. (ed.) Space and Time in Geography: Essays Dedicated to Torsten Hägerstrand. Gleerup: Lund, pp. 85–108. Waitt, G. (2000) Playing games with Sydney: marketing Sydney for the 2000 Olympics, Urban Studies 36: 1062–1073. Waitt, G. (2003) Gay Games: performing ‘community’ out from the closet of the locker room, Social & Cultural Geography 4: 167–183. Waitt, G. (2008) ‘Killing waves’: surfing, space and gender, Social & Cultural Geography 9: 75– 94. Abstract translations ‘Nous fermons des villes pour gagner nos vies’: la transformation spatiale et le Tour de France L’article explore les moyens dont la traversée de la course cycliste du Tour de France dans la France produit une cartographie distinctive culturelle ou une carte sociale de la France. En utilisant la triade conceptuelle de Lefebvre (1991) de la pratique spatiale, des représentations de l’espace et des espaces représentationnels, cet article soutient que le Tour de France représente et est aussi un espace qui est reordonné et structuré annuellement par des pratiques très particulières et culturelles. Au travers d’une analyse du processus (et des politiques) de la sélection des routes, l’incorporation du paysage iconique et la transformation d’espace civique pendant que la course traverse le pays, l’article met en relief la nature socialement construite de la cartographie et le rôle de l’intervention humaine dans la production et la reproduction des Spatial transformation and the Tour de France cartographies clés et culturelles de la France grâce au Tour de France. Mots-clefs: Tour de France, cartographies, transformation spatiale, Lefebvre, identité nationale. ‘Nos dedicamos a cerrar pueblos’: transformación espacial y el Tour de Francia Este articulo se explora las formas en que el viaje del Tour de Francia carrera de bicicletas se produce una cartografı́a cultural o mapa social distintivo de Francia. Utlilizando la triada conceptual de practica espacial de Lefebvre (1991), representaciones de espacio y espacios figurativos, el articulo se discute 881 que el Tour de Francia ambos representa y es un espacio que se reordena y estructura anualmente por practicas culturales muy particulares. A través de un análisis del proceso (y polı́tica) de la selección de rutas, la incorporación de paisajes icónicas y la transformación de espacio civil mientras la carrera se mueve a través el paı́s, el articulo se enfatiza el carácter socialmente construido del cartografı́a y el papel de la intervención humano en producir y reproducir cartografı́as culturales claves de Francia a través el Tour de Francia. Palabras claves: Tour de Francia, cartografı́as, transformación espacial, Lefebvre, dentidad nacional. Copyright of Social & Cultural Geography is the property of Routledge and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use.
Term-Paper: Research Article Summary Paper YOU are responsible for reading and understanding these instructions. If you turn in an assignment that does not follow these instructions, your grade will reflect it. You cannot say I didn’t warn you. Deadlines: 1. Article Selection: Saturday, January 27. 2. Rough Draft (Optional): Saturday, March 31. 3. Final Project: Saturday, April 7. The purpose of this assignment is to have you explore the type of scholarly research being done by geographers in Europe. The project will give you an understanding of the breadth and depth of research that geographers do, point out important issues in the region that are the subject of academic research, and give you insights on how geographers conduct research and present that research. This assignment requires you to focus on articles in peerreviewed, scholarly journals rather than popular media. There are several things that distinguish scholarly articles from other types of writing. Firstly, these articles are peer-reviewed; meaning that they have been judged by up to four other scholars working on similar topics for their accuracy and merit before being published. Scholarly articles are also fully cited so that another researcher can prove the validity of the arguments by looking at the same sources. Thirdly, while popular media articles generally stand alone as a report on something, peer-reviewed scholarly articles represent ongoing conversations among scholars to advance our knowledge about the world – in this case, the geography of Europe. Technical Aspects: Your paper must conform to the following formatting: 12-point font (Arial, Times New Roman, Garamond, or Book Antiqua), one-inch margins all around, double-spaced, and number the pages. Any paper that does not follow the technical aspects will receive a 10-point discount in the final grade for this assignment. Selecting an Article (DUE by Saturday, January 27): The first step in completing this assignment is finding an article. The article you use must comply with the overall assignment – it must be a geography article, the research must be “located” in the European Region, it must be a full-length, research article (not book reviews, commentaries, op-eds, editorial, country reports, or special issue entries), and it must be from one of the peer reviewed geography journals listed below. The articles must also be published in the year 2000 or later. Only one person will be allowed to review an article, so it is a good idea to pick out a few that interests you. Here’s how to submit them: to submit your article preferences you will have to send the Instructor of the course a message with a list of three articles you have picked out in order of preference – your list should consist of full citations for the articles selected (Including: author/s last name/s, first name/s, year of publication, title of article, journal where it was published, volume, number, page numbers). You should also attach the PDFs for the articles to your message. Please note that the Blackboard online messaging system only allows you to attach one file per message, so you will have to submit three separate messages including a full reference in each one (and the electronic copy of your selections in PDF format attached to each message). If you fail to submit an appropriate article by the due date you will lose 10% of your final grade for this task, and I will assign an article to you – I can’t promise it will be interesting or easy to read. A list with the assign articles will be posted on Week # 5 of the semester. When submitting your three articles of choice, please use the following format to cite them, and include them in the text of your message: o Articles written by one author: Shubin, S. 2010. Cultural exclusion and rural poverty in Ireland and Russia. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, New Series, 35(4): 555-570. o Articles written by two authors: Clark, J. and A. Jones. 2012. After ‘the collapse’: Strategic selectivity, Icelandic state elites and the management of European Union accession. Political Geography, 31(2): 64– 72. o Articles written by three or more authors: Clark D.B., Doel, M.A. and F.X. Mcdonough. 1996. Holocaust topologies: Singularity, politics, space. Political Geography, 15(6-7): 457-489. The articles you select MUST come from the following GEOGRAPHY JOURNALS: Journal Title Annals of the Association of American Geographers Antipode: A Journal of Radical Geography *Area Cultural Geographies Economic Geography Environment and Planning D: Society & Space Gender, Place and Culture Geographical Journal Political Geography Social and Cultural Geography The Professional Geographer * Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie (Journal of Economic and Social Geography) *Transactions (Institute of British Geographers) Location G3.A7 G1.A67 G7.A73 GE170.E376 HF1021.E4 H1.E58 G70.G4 G7.R91 JC319.P65 GF1.S6 G3.P7 HC10.T55 G7.I6 *Note: These peer-review journals make emphasis in European issues. Note that most of these peer-review journals are available online using the FIU Library system. Log on into library.fiu.edu and click on e-journals. Here you will have access to all electronic copies of the articles published in the selected journal. Once in the webpage of the journal you should conduct a search of a European location that may be of interest to you using the appropriate key word. The Analysis Paper/Final Project (DUE by Saturday, April 7): For the paper, you will need to follow the format given below in analyzing and summarizing the components of the research article about which you are writing. Remember that you are only using ONE article in the part of the project. In completing the following format, you will need to read each section of the article you are using very carefully, possibly more than once. Your paper should be at-least 6 pages in length (not including the Cover Page), you must follow the formatting procedure listed above, and you must submit your paper to the plagiarism detection website Turnitin.com using the class webpage by the due date (instructions for submitting it to Turnitin.com will be provided). Note that plagiarism will not be tolerated. If this or any other course assignment is plagiarized, you will earn an automatic failure grade in the course. Follow the format carefully. When you write your paper, divide it into clearly labeled sections using the headings below. In each section, be sure to address the questions fully. Any paper that does not include the required labels/titles will receive a 10-point discount in the final grade for this assignment. I. Cover Page: Title of the Article, Author(s) of the Article, Publication Date, Publication Source (Journal, Volume & Number), Your Name, GEA 3500, Spring 2018, Date Submitted II. Introduction How does the author introduce the article (for example, do they tell a story to situate the topic, or do they discuss other research, a media report, an event)? How does the introduction frame the coming discussion and argument? III. Argument What argument(s) does the author make in the paper (for example, are they saying that some topic hasn’t been studied (enough); or, are they saying that if we study some particular issue/case it will change (or reaffirm) how we think about some conception; or, are they saying that if we bring in a different conception it will change the way we think about a particular issue/case)? IV. Structure of the Paper How does the author go about making the argument in the paper? What order do they present the information? How do they layout the article? What sections are in the article, and what points do they make in each one? How do the sections build up to the overall argument? V. Literatures In what literatures (both theoretical and topical) does the author situate their work? What works do they cite, and how do they conceive what they are citing? Note: Not every paper will have a specific section dedicated to literature review – they may be embedded in various sections of the paper. VI. Methodology How did the author go about collecting that information (data) used to support their argument? Did they use interviews (who, with and how many), participant observation (where and how long), document analysis (historical documents, newspaper accounts, policy papers, etc.), or statistical data (gather by the author or some other entity) to name a few? How is the data presented: is it woven into the text of the article, or is it presented in some graphic form (maps, charts, graphs, photos)? How well does the data support the argument that the author is making? VII. Conclusion How does the author summarize their argument(s) one last time? Do they hint at broader implications of their work beyond the focus of this article? Do they make a call for more research in a certain area? VIII. Bibliography How many sources does the article cite and what types of sources are cited? How many of the sources are books? How many are research articles? How many are other types of documents (popular media reports – newspaper or magazine articles, government documents, planning documents, etc.)? How many are internet sources? Does the author cite Wikipedia? IMPORTANT NOTE: DO NOT PLAGIARIZE ANY PART OF THIS PAPER OR YOU WILL RECEIVE A ZERO FOR THIS ASSIGNMENT. Most of your paper should summarize the article in your own words! If you wish to use the wording of the article’s author(s) you should ALWAYS put quotations marks around it and give the page number where it can be found. No more than 10% of your paper should be quotations. If you quote too much, you will lose points. Be sure to read the instructions carefully, and follow them diligently. Finally, please note that LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED BUT WILL RECEIVE A 10-POINT DISCOUNT FOR EACH WEEK IT IS LATE. The weekly point-deduction will be applied starting on the next day after the deadline. NO LATE WORK WILL BE ACCEPTED AFTER TWO WEEKS OF THE DUE DATE (Saturday, April 21).

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