Lefebvre's Ideas about Social Space Imply a Re-Evaluation of the Role of Graffiti in the Politics of City and Urban Life

Journalism & Communication
Pages 10 (2510 words)
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Since the beginning of time, man has always used public walls as a surface for the formation and communication of different concepts. ‘Graffiti’ or ‘writing on walls’ is not something that was started by the youth in the 21st century.


There exists a long history of various cultures leaving symbols and writings of their experiences from the age of the Pharaoh’s Pyramids to Hadrian’s Wall, the Byzantium Empire, and the middle ages. However, it is only half a century ago when graffiti started being linked to the culture of the urban youth as well as the political beliefs of the social movements of the 1960s. Graffiti writers from New York and Philadelphia began to create new and innovative styles with new materials and writing styles. They also made use of increasing spaces in the urban areas. Graffiti soon grew to be a global phenomenon. It is now a common sight in numerous urban areas all over the world. It adorns or disfigures public areas, depending on the viewpoint of the person analysing the works. Graffiti has sometimes been viewed as a disfigurement of the city walls. However, many people simply consider it is a modern way used by the youth to express their viewpoints. Henri Lefebvre separated space into three groups: representations of space, spatial practice, and representational space. According to his ideas, every piece of art that is included in the public space will slowly integrate itself into that space, and frequently ends up being a part of that very public space in such a way that it cannot be separated from that place. ...
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