In the wider context of ongoing theoretical debates about the relationship between aesthetics and activism, this paper focuses on contemporary street art - in particular stencilling - in two global cities, to argue that beauty has emerged as an essential part of the politics of urban graphics. Paris and Melbourne are both renowned as cities with a vibrant street art culture, and Paris in particular has a long tradition as a site for the intersection between political activism and graphic expression. The paper considers an extensive visual archive of recent street art against the background of protest actions, including those inspired by anti-globalisation, anti-capitalism and anti-war sentiments.The paper draws on extensive research during a 2008 Paris residency.
|Keywords:||Street Art, Activism, Beauty|
Lecturer, Art History and Cinema Studies, School of Humanities and Languages, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, NSW, Australia
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