Workshop: Scratched, Scrawled, Sprayed. Towards a Cross-Cultural Research on Graffiti
Wann: Fr, 26.02.2021, 14:00 Uhr bis 17:30 Uhr
From the deserts of Egypt through the forests of Mesoamerica to contemporary metropolises: Graffiti are everywhere, and it has been that way for quite some time. Indeed, the human urge to claim their voice in the visual landscape surrounding them seems to be one of the universals of literate societies. Both as a solo creation on a pristine wall and yet another addition to a chain of scribbles, graffiti are socially creative acts that have been imbued with a variety of meanings by their creators. With their designs, they shape the perception of spaces and objects. Modern scholarship endeavours to place these written acts in context and do justice to their significance as important sources of cultural history. Yet the word ‘graffiti’ is a fluid term that has been imbued with specific connotations within distinct scholarly traditions that study diverse graffitiing communities in different times and spaces. Even within these traditions, its use often reflects personal experience and assumptions of individual scholars rather than a general consensus. This poses a challenge to a real cross-cultural approach to the study of graffiti in different writing cultures.In three sessions, this workshop brings together experts on graffiti scratched, scrawled, or sprayed on surfaces around the globe. By exploring the extent of graffitiing practices from antiquity to the present day and the diversity of scholarly traditions dealing with them, the workshop aims at opening up an interdisciplinary dialogue on the prospects of a cross-cultural study of written artefacts known as ‘graffiti’.