Visual Street Art: Messages of Riga Stencil Graffiti

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

The modern urban space is inevitably the site of different striking messages from advertisement to graffiti. The last are usedas an alternative mediumof subculture, even if majority of the public fails to notice it or else interprets it, contrary to culture’s ordered world of meanings, as chaotic “dirt” more closelyrelated to nature than culture.The discourse of messagesfound in the public space -on the façades of surfaces forming urban space, can be interpreted in a countercultural code and is forthe subculture of graffiti it self, a battletaking place for the aesthetization of the public space. This is the answer provided by the rebellious sons to the “fathers of the city”, who possess money and power with which to design urban public space using architectural means. The generation of sons, who are excluded from this real estate discourse due to a lack of means, put into play the only thing they own, i.e. their body, which they subject to the danger of imprisonment, because graffiti is an illegal activity, which in legal terms is interpreted as vandalism, a view that also prevails within the mass media.In this paper we analyzethe meaning ofvisual messages of Riga stencil graffiti using social semiotics' methodology (Kress &Leewen, 1996; Jewitt &Oyama, 2004). We find that the utilizationof the street as an alternative and independent medium in the form of civil disobedience manifested through the translation of radical political ideas, thus to a certain extent performing the work of propaganda, is an example of creative idealism
Translated title of the contributionVisual Street Art: Messages of Riga Stencil Graffiti
Original languageLatvian
Pages (from-to)694-705
JournalSociety. Integration. Education=Sabiedrība. Integrācija. Izglītība
Volume5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 May 2020
EventInternational Scientific Conference “Society. Integration. Education: Sabiedrība. Integrācija. Izglītība”, 2020 - Rēzekne, Latvia
Duration: 22 May 202023 May 2020
http://journals.rta.lv/index.php/SIE/issue/viewIssue/141/534

Keywords*

  • graffiti, ideology
  • social semiotics, subculture
  • visual messages

Field of Science*

  • 5.3 Educational sciences
  • 6.4 Arts (arts, history of arts, performing arts, music)

Publication Type*

  • 3.2. Articles or chapters in other proceedings other than those included in 3.1., with an ISBN or ISSN code

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