There is a place for everyone to contribute uniquely toward society. The perspective of the flaneur in our society is a minority perspective. This is because it is not the norm of the masses in our societies social structure. However, it is still a valuable perspective. According to Charles Baudelaire the flaneur refers to the “urban stroller”. For this purpose I use the term flaneur to describe how my modeling experience has expanded how I contribute to society and how society contributes to me.
The flaneur can be regarded as a potential asset to society, in the form of a well-rounded and insightful individual that organizes the city with their eyes, mind and actions. For example, a flaneur has unique perspectives; perspectives that may even install change within society. A flaneur exists in a state of constant observation and searching for knowledge of what (s)he observes, as well as being observed and not understood by the rest of society. Time spent as a flaneur can actually help an individual discover him or herself, and if this road to self-discovery is discussed, or placed on a platform for society to learn from, that flaneur’s perspective can contribute to society and future generations in a valuable way.
In effect, flaneurs are intricate observers of the city that influence and impact change. For example, the views of a flaneur can potentially lead to clarity, focus and insight. These qualities are necessary traits to hold if one strives to be a positive influence and contributor to our world. It is useful to ask one when examining the positive and negative connotations of a particular flaneur…what does and what will a flaneur gaze make of us? The following photographic collaboration involved photographer Carlos Armando, makeup artist Martin Lane Christopher, stylist Tosh Yanez and model Claire Robinson. The professionals mentioned in this article all contributed to my flaneur experience. Essentially a flaneur is an individual in an ongoing community process of lived experiences. Also, special thanks to Jennifer Robinson for making the shoot run smoothly!
By Claire Robinson