Book Review: The Moments Between
The Moments Between is an account of three traceurs – practitioners of Parkour – on a road trip through Italy – on a quest to discover themselves, their abilities, communities, new training grounds and new possibilities in their own Parkour training.
Two of these traceurs – Thomas Couetdic, and Chris ‘Blane’ Rowat – are Internationally acknowledged for what they’ve achieved and have given back to the community. The other traceur – Andy ‘Kiell’ Day – is a renowned Parkour photographer and documentarian. He is also the photographer and author of this book.
Andy’s style of writing is personal, simple, yet documentative and encompasses the entire experience of their journey. It is a personal recollection, and one has the distinct feeling that he would be able to indulge in a lengthy conversation about this trip if he ever met any of these three parkour practitioners.
Andy explains the reasons for their unconventional trip across France, and Italy – travelling in an antiquated Citroen 2CV, and when possible, taking the less frequently travelled roads; never once staying at a hotel. Instead they seek out places by the wayside to rest in sleeping bags, and where possible, staying with fellow traceurs who gladly welcome them into their homes, in exchange for the chance to talk shop, exchange training notes and to understand each other better.
Through the book, Andy writes like he is recounting his experiences to a friend.
Here’s an excerpt:
Both Blane and Thomas have a maturity that goes beyond their years, Thomas in particular possessing a wisdom that belies his age. I learnt that, at times, Thomas seemed to know Blane’s potential better than Blane did, and I later discovered that he also knew more of my ability than I had previously imagined … He does not simply challenge your body; he challenges your spirit and your soul … you must accept that this teaching will most likely come in the form of a series of questions that will challenge your understanding of yourself.
Andy is an excellent photographer and his style of photographing Parkour action and documenting traceurs is well known and easily identifiable by anyone in the global parkour community. His images are among the first high quality records of Parkour as it began it’s spread through the UK and across the globe. This makes him an icon in this new, and fast growing community.
This book is filled with around 200 images of this unique trip across Italy. The images take are in a ‘documentary’ style, and if you flip through the photographs in the book first and then get down to reading it – as I did – you’ll find that images take on new meaning as their context is established, completing a story. You’ll find images of their travel, the unique places where they stayed, and some great images of these world-famous traceurs in action.
From a Photographer’s Perspective
If you’re a photographer or a photo enthusiast, you won’t find anything in this book about how to take photographs or even how Andy has taken specific photographs. It’s not a book about photography. What it is, is a beautiful account of their trip, and a collection of beautiful parkour photographs.
Andy also talks about the challenge of participating in two diverse passions at the same time. To him, the parkour training, the interaction with new people, and the photography of the activity are equally important.
You won’t find pictures of landmarks, like you would in a traveller’s photo-book. Yet each of the images is significant to their travels and their experiences. Take a look through the pages and you’ll gain insight into how to keep things fresh and interesting with the turn of each page.
There are lessons to be learnt on framing images on-the-fly, remembering your camera and using it an interesting moments, and in setting yourself up to make the most of the photographic opportunities that you may encounter on a trip. But these lessons are not in writing, but in observing and questioning yourself.
Andy explains Thomas’ method of teaching parkour – how he teaches you – and helps you learn by asking questions. Whether he realises it or not, Andy does the same with this book, if you’re a photographer, you can’t help but learn something from these pictures if you ask the right questions.
From a Traceur’s Perspective
This book is filled with images of two renowned traceurs in action; photographed by yet another well-known name in the ‘art of movement’.
If you’re a traceur, each photograph with speak to you, and Andy’s recollection of their training will help you along with new ideas for your training. It will also encourage you to take a trip to meet your neighbouring traceurs, experience their training grounds, and to share a cameradrie and brotherhood that no other sport or discipline that I know has today.
More About “The Moments Between”
More About the Author
Andy Day is a Parkour Photographer based in London. The photographs he has produced since his involvement with Parkour and it’s athletes in the UK and across the globe a have been hugely influential in the representation of the sport.
Having been at the heart of the growth of the UK scene, Andy’s work has defined parkour through his unique style and the reproduction of his work around the world. From Playboy to the Sunday Times, countless magazines and newspapers have used Andy’s work, as have the likes of Adidas and Canon in their advertising.
Andy’s interests extend to other forms of movement in built up urban environments, and encompasses ‘Buildering‘.
You can see more of his work at www.kiell.com
Read Andy’s blog at http://kiell.tumblr.com