The Department of Integrative and Global Studies Collaboration for a Better World Speaker Series presents Alejandro Magna and "Radical (Bike)spaces and social innovation: the case of L’Heureux Cyclage in France, and the Untokening in the US" Alejandro is a Colombian Research Associate at the Global School of WPI, and dual degree a Ph.D. candidate in the programs of Communication, Culture, and Media of Drexel University, Philadelphia; and Urban and Regional Planning at the Laboratory of Cities, Transportation, and Mobility (LVMT) of Université Gustave Eiffel, in Paris, France.
This event is being co-sponsored by the Global School and SSPS.
Radical (Bike)spaces (Batterbury & Manga, 2022) are situated in the margins of bike advocacy. They have been instrumental in fostering innovative practices that have led to the development of bikeshares, extended producer responsibility — that is making polluting firms pay for the end of life disposal and recycling of their products; the dissemination of open streets events like Ciclovía (Montero, 2017) but also policies regarding equity in terms of gender justice (Abord de Chatillon, 2021; Castañeda, 2022) racial and environmental justice ( The Untokening, 2018; Sheller, 2020). Less known is the fact is that within different kinopolitical contexts, in terms of culture, language, history, and institutions, radical movements have been pushing and shaping these policies. This talk traces the histories of the Untokening, a Black and Indigenous People of Color (BIPOC) organization that has been instrumental in promoting principles of mobility justice in the United States, as well as L’Heureux Cyclage — the French network of Do-it-Yourself bike kitchens, that has been instrumental in promoting popular education programs for cycling instructors, the French version of bikeshares, and the law of extended producer responsibility.
Alejandro is a Colombian Research Associate at the Global School of WPI, and dual degree a Ph.D. candidate in the programs of Communication, Culture, and Media of Drexel University, Philadelphia; and Urban and Regional Planning at the Laboratory of Cities, Transportation, and Mobility (LVMT) of Université Gustave Eiffel, in Paris, France.
He started his career working in consulting firms using quantitative techniques and GIS in territorial development and transportation studies while being involved on the side with community organizations interested in the environment and cycling. Serendipity changed his life. While in grad school in the French-Swiss transborder greater Geneva area, he joined a bike kitchen as a volunteer, and eventually became a board member of a national organization, l’Heureux Cyclage, while volunteering on bike kitchens on both side of the border. Then, when he moved to Los Angeles for the fieldwork of his thesis a friendly chat with the bike commuter in charge of his admission file at UCLA changed the topic of his research to mobility justice, bike movements, and the relational networks furthering them in the context of ecological transitions.
His research is centered on how the values and experiences of bike advocates shape the role and influence of bike movements in the circulation and implementation of practices and policies in French-speaking Europe, the US, and Latin America, by looking at how life histories and stories like his, are woven together into narratives that shape the culture and discourses of these transitions.