Dr Alba Griffin

Dr Alba Griffin


I graduated from Manchester University in 2010 with a BA (Hons) in Modern Languages, from Newcastle University in 2013 with an MA in Latin American Interdisciplinary Studies and completed my ESRC-funded PhD in 2019 also at Newcastle University.

I have previously worked in the arts and publishing sectors, as well as in project management. I am currently working with Dr Derek Edyvane on the project ‘Ordinary Citizenship’. 

Twitter and Instagram: @agriffbag

Research interests

My research explores violence, power and inequality, particularly in Latin America, with a focus on popular culture and representation. My PhD thesis, Reading the Walls in Bogota: Imaginaries of violence in the urban visual landscape, focused on graffiti and street art practices in Colombia's capital city and their relationships to urban imaginaries of violence and inequality.

Following an interdisciplinary approach, it drew on an ethnographic, reception-based methodological and theoretical framework in order to pay close attention to the perspectives of urban inhabitants, including those producing graffiti and street art as well as those engaging with them as audiences. Such an approach revealed the complex dynamics of violence and the politics of representation, specifically in relation to political violence, structural inequality and social prejudice as they play out through the contemporary trends in graffiti and street art of commemoration, beautification, denunciation and self-expression.

In pursuing the intersections of violence and aesthetics, it drew extensively on theorisations of hegemony and subalternity by Antonio Gramsci, Stuart Hall, James C. Scott and others. At the same time, it sought to test static, structural understandings of the imaginary by keeping a close watch on conjunctural shifts in the top-down management of civic politics through Henri Lefebvre's conceptualisation of the right to the city. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://essl.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>