Urban Hitchhiking: Wandering with Others as a Research Method

Tuuli Malla, Anna Kholina, Lauri Jäntti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)


This essay introduces urban hitchhiking, a reflective practice of sharing a walk with strangers, and considers its relevance for research and artistic practice. Drawing from ethnography, psychogeography and performance studies, we frame urban hitchhiking as a score that has ethnographic potential akin to the ethnographic installation (Hartblay 2017) for exploring the complex relationships between people and cityscapes. We demonstrate this with the help of our own accounts of Urban Hitchhiking as two artists who developed the concept and a researcher who practiced it. The essay summarises four perspectives that emerged from our findings: spatiality, performativity, gender, and hospitality. It concludes that the key value of urban hitchhiking lies in its potential to create a setting that we define as an empathetic drift, which turns random encounters into shared acts of trust through which a variety of anthropological questions can be explored.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-51
Number of pages11
JournalSuomen antropologi
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Feb 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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