Post-Socialist Political Graffiti in the Balkans and Central Europe: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Post-Socialist Political Graffiti in the Balkans and Central Europe

1st Edition

By Mitja Velikonja


248 pages | 39 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9780367338152
pub: 2019-10-31
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This theoretically and empirically grounded book uses case studies of political graffiti in the post-socialist Balkans and Central Europe to explore the use of graffiti as a subversive political media.

Despite the increasing global digitisation, graffiti remains widespread and popular, providing with a few words or images a vivid visual indication of cultural conditions, social dynamics and power structures in a society, and provoking a variety of reactions. Using qualitative and quantitative methods, as well as detailed interdisciplinary analyses of "patriotic", extreme-right, soccer-fan, nostalgic, and chauvinist graffiti and street art, it looks at why and by whom graffiti is used as political media, and to/against whom is it directed? The book theorises discussions of political graffiti and street art to show different methodological approaches from four perspectives; context, author, the work itself, and audience.

It will be of interest to the growing body of literature focussing on (sub)cultural studies in the contemporary Balkans, transitology, visual cultural studies, art theory, anthropology, sociology and studies of radical politics.

Table of Contents

Preface: Toward a New Interdisciplinary Science – Graffitology

Part One: Introduction to Graffiti and Street Art Studies

  1. Mapping (Political) Graffiti and Street Art
    1. Dirty Words on Clean Walls – Dilemmas in Defining Graffiti and Street Art
    2. Poetics on the Wall: Characteristics of Aesthetic/Subcultural Graffiti and Street Art
    3. Politics on the Wall: Characteristics of Political Graffiti and Street Art

  2. Types, Styles and Techniques of Graffiti and Street Art
  3. Ways, Sites and Methods of Researching Political Graffiti and Street Art
    1. Graffitography – Photographing as a Way of Collecting Visual Data
    2. Multiangular Approach: Four Sites of Meaning of Graffiti
    3. Methods of Researching Political Graffiti and Street Art

    Part Two: Post-Socialist Graffiti-Scapes – Case Studies

  4. Yugoslavia after Yugoslavia: Graffiti and Street Art about Yugoslavia in the Post-Yugoslav Urbanscape
  5. Contested Heroes – Gavrilo Princip and Rudolf Maister as Subcultural Icons
  6. Nature as Politics - The Motif of Mt. Triglav in Graffiti and Street Art
  7. Shameful Compliance - Balkan Nationalist Graffiti and Street Art
  8. Spraying Hatred – Extreme-Right Graffiti and Street Art in Slovenia
  9. The New Others – Visual Ideology of Refugees in Contemporary Slovenia
  10. Chosen Few - Football Fan Graffiti and Street Art
  11. One Club, One Honor! – The Graffitiscape of Slovenian Football Fans

Conclusion: Power of the Street (Art), Powerlessness of (Street) Art

About the Author

Dr. Mitja Velikonja is a Professor for Cultural Studies and head of Center for Cultural and Religious Studies at University of Ljubljana, Slovenia. Main areas of his research include contemporary Central-European and Balkan political ideologies, subcultures and graffiti culture, collective memory and post-socialist nostalgia. His last monographs are Rock'n'Retro - New Yugoslavism in Contemporary Slovenian Music (2013), Titostalgia – A Study of Nostalgia for Josip Broz (2008), Eurosis – A Critique of the New Eurocentrism (2005) and Religious Separation and Political Intolerance in Bosnia-Herzegovina (2003). He is co-author of the book Celestial Yugoslavia: Interaction of Political Mythologies and Popular Culture (2012), and co-editor and co-author of books Post-Yugoslavia - New Cultural and Political Perspectives (2014) and Yugoslavia From A Historical Perspective (2017). For his achievements he received three national and one international award (Erasmus EuroMedia Award by European Society for Education and Communication, 2008). He was a full-time visiting professor at Jagiellonian University in Krakow (2002 and 2003), at Columbia University in New York (2009 and 2014), at University of Rijeka (2015), at New York Institute in St. Petersburg (2015 and 2016), Fulbright visiting researcher in Philadelphia (2004/2005), and visiting researcher at The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies (2012) and at the Remarque Institute of the New York University (2018).

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