Reading the Walls of Bogotá with Dr Alba Griffin

In this POLIS research seminar, Dr Alba Griffin discusses her new book: "Reading the Walls of Bogotá: Graffiti, Street Art and the Urban Imaginary of Violence".

Book Cover of Reading the Walls of Bogotá: Graffiti, Street Art and the Urban Imaginary of Violence

Celebrating the upcoming publication of her new book, Dr Alba Griffin’s talk explores urban imaginaries of violence in Bogotá, Colombia, through graffiti and street art.

Drawing on ethnography, interviews, focus groups and vox pops conducted between 2015-16, the book asks what it feels like to live in a so-called “violent society” during a controversial and complex transition to post-conflict. It argues that graffiti and street art are ways in which people both contest and reproduce imaginaries of violence.

These imaginaries range from disenchantment with memory politics and peace narratives, to spatialized stigmas and marginalization, to social hierarchies reproduced through the policing of public space.

In this talk, Dr Griffin explains the motivation to unite diverse forms of graffiti and street art in the city, comparing political slogans to hip-hop influence graffiti-writing to street art stencils and large-scale murals, even though they are often separated in traditional analyses of urban art.

Instead, Dr Griffin argues that they work together to produce the urban visual landscape and it is through analysis of their collective import and impact on the city that we can understand how such visual signs reflect the nuances of social imaginaries of violence.

This seminar is being held on Microsoft Teams. 

For further details, including the link to the booking, contact Marie Johnson