Walls of Resistance: the Power of Street Art

From Zuccotti Park in NYC to Tahrir Square in Cairo, occupy movements and other forms of urban protests have been powerful resistance movements against increasing inequality and marginalization as consequences of global neoliberal processes. These resistance movements also challenged the institutions of representative democracy, which have been irresponsive to the demands of the masses.

Among other distinctive characteristics of the contemporary urban collective resistance movements such as the extensive use of social media, street art has gained crucial relevance and became an important form of political participation and resistance.

In this dossier on “Aesthetics of Resistance”, Myrto Tsilimpounidi asks the question of what does street art and tries to find an answer in the streets of Athens. She shows how street art becomes an utterance of an alternative voice resisting the hegemonic stories of the city. Sarah H. Awad underlines the same power of the street art in giving visibility and voice to resistance movements. Awad discusses Egypt and shows how graffiti during the uprisings in 2011 challenged the monopoly of the state over the representation in public spaces. Erdem Colak focuses on post-Gezi Turkey. Visual and performative practices of resistance were defining elements of the Gezi Park protests in 2013. Colak discusses how power bloc has been trying to establish, yet failed, its cultural hegemony. (Dossier edited by Ertug Tombus)