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Ricardo Campos

This article is the result of research that focused on street art and graffiti in the city of Lisbon from 2004 to 2007. The empirical arguments presented draw from ethnographic work and from an analysis of inscriptions on urban walls. In my understanding, these visual manifestations can be understood as political and aesthetic devices, fundamental expressive resources in the negotiation of power and agency in the urban environment. They are vernacular creations that may be interpreted as discursive instruments forged in the context of symbolic struggles, characteristic of the 'field of visibility'. Furthermore, I put forward an analytical framework of graffiti and street art as an urban transgressive grammar, while considering the articulation of produced text and the context of production.

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Arte urbano, espacio público y subversión política

la revolución egipcia a través del graffiti

Pedro Buendía

*Full article is in Spanish

English abstract: The emergence of graffiti's urban subculture as a means of political expression has become a singular issue of the so-called Arab Spring. Graffiti and urban art, which had little to no relevance in the Arab world until now, emerged with unusual force in many countries, notably in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, and Egypt. This blossoming takes shape in tangent with the strengthening of a civil society and its rise as a decisive actor in the new political arena. In Egypt's case, graffiti achieved a leading role that reflected the milestones of civil disturbance, marking the walls with virtual snapshots of the popular sentiment. The proliferation of graffiti also had considerable resonance in international media because of the strategy of spreading rebellious and subversive slogans by means of the symbolic occupation of a public space, which, until now, was monopolized by authoritarian powers.

Spanish abstract: Un fenómeno singular de la denominada “Primavera Árabe“ ha sido la eclosión de la subcultura urbana del graffiti como medio de expresión política. De escasa o nula relevancia hasta ahora, el arte urbano de las pintadas ha surgido con una fuerza inusitada en varias zonas del mundo árabe, notoriamente en los Territorios Palestinos, el Líbano y Egipto. Dicho florecimiento cuaja en paralelo con la rearticulación de la sociedad civil y su irrupción irreversible como actor de los nuevos escenarios políticos. En el caso de Egipto, los graffitis han tenido un señalado protagonismo como reflejo de los sucesivos hitos de las revueltas, marcando los muros y paredes con verdaderas instantáneas del sentir popular. La proliferación del graffiti ha tenido asimismo una considerable resonancia en los medios internacionales, debido a la estrategia de ocupar simbólicamente el espacio público, -que hasta ahora estaba reservado al monopolio de los poderes autoritarios- para la difusión de consignas contestatarias y subversivas.

French abstract: Un phénomène singulier de la “printemps arabe“ a été l'émergence de la culture urbaine du graffiti comme un moyen d'expression politique. Avec peu ou pas d'importance jusqu'à ce jour, l'art urbain et le graffiti ont émergé avec une force inhabituelle dans diverses régions du monde arabe, notamment dans les Territoires Palestiniens, le Liban et l'Égypte. Ce e éclosion doit être mise en parallèle avec le renforcement de la société civile et son émergence comme acteur décisif dans le nouveau scénario politique. Dans le cas de l'Égypte, le graffiti a joué un rôle clé comme reflet des jalons successifs des révoltes, en marquant les murs avec des instantanés virtuelles du sentiment populaire. La prolifération des graffitis a rencontré aussi un écho remarquable dans les médias internationaux en raison de la stratégie d'occupation symbolique de l'espace public pour la diffusion des slogans rebelles et subversifs; un espace public qui était réservé jusqu'à aujourd'hui aux pouvoirs autoritaires.

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Laura Sartori

A foreigner robbed, beat up, raped, and dumped an Italian woman,

Francesca Reggiani, to die in a ditch as she was returning home along

a poorly lit, scruffy road in Tor di Quinto, a peripheral area of Rome

and the site of a gypsy camp. This incident in 2007 was the final straw

that resulted in an explosive debate on safety and security in Italy,

coinciding with the presentation by the government of its Security

Package on 30 October.

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Fred Paulino

Gambiocycle is a mobile broadcast unit. It is a modified cargo tricycle containing electronic gear for interactive video projection and digital graffiti in public spaces. The Gambiocycle was developed as part of Gambiologia, which is an open-source art movement based on the fusion between technology and “gambiarras”: the Brazilian cultural do-it-yourself practice of solving problems in alternative ways or giving unusual functions to objects, a slang word for technical makeshifts and kludges.

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Afterword

The Sensory Revolution Comes of Age

David Howes

Abstract

The sensory turn and the affective turn in contemporary scholarship both crystalised at roughly the same time but then diverged. This special issue reintegrates them. Conjointly, these twin approaches direct attention to the multiplicity, agency, and interactivity of the full spectrum of human faculties (i.e., how the senses and affects intersect with and may also disrupt the rule of reason) in addition to highlighting the extent to which ‘the perceptual is political.’ The resulting paradigm has precipitated a shift from the study of communities as ‘imagined’ to how they are sensed and/or felt, and from a focus on ‘the human condition’ to the intensive investigation of the multiple ‘national post-revolutionary conditions’ that define the current conjuncture. By foregrounding the aesthetics of politics, and tracking the eruption of dis-sensus (laughter, graffiti, dissent) within the con-sensus that states seek to foster in their citizenry, this special issue sounds a much-needed wake-up call.

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Vandalism as Symbolic Reparation

Imaginaries of Protest in Nicaragua

Ileana L. Selejan

institutionalised top-down aspects—is premised upon the mutability of visual expressions and aesthetic forms (the use of art and graphics, as well as graffiti, slogans). Once integral to the revolution, these gestures were oft-repeated and memorialised in

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Ben Berkowitz and Jean-Paul Gagnon

SeeClickFix began in 2009 when founder and present CEO Ben Berkowitz spotted a piece of graffiti in his New Haven, Connecticut, neighborhood. After calling numerous departments at city hall in a bid to have the graffiti removed, Berkowitz felt no

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Asymmetries of Spatial Contestations

Controlling Protest Spaces and Coalition-Building during the Iranian December 2017 Protests

Tareq Sydiq

mass” of sorts may be reached. Urban planning, therefore, is supposed to prevent major eruptions of protests and to allow for quick suppression should they occur. This means that central, public spaces need to be controlled. Pro-regime graffiti (used so

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Back in Time Yet of His Time

Marty McFly as a 1980s Teenage Boy Role Model

Daniel Smith-Rowsey

film’s approach is something like American Graffiti (1973) or Grease (1978) , or “ Happy Days” (1974–1984) on television . Marty McFly, for all his surface good-boy, parent-loving tendencies, is never comfortable in the 1950s (not quite as