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How is it that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) commemorates graffiti as a symbol of Western optimism and hopefulness, while the City of Stockholm describes the same phenomenon as crime and a sign of insecurity and social problems?
Graffiti is a multifaceted and complex phenomenon that can be understood in many ways – as one of the world’s greatest contemporary art movements, and as a slum-damaging act, as an adventurous bus strike and as an organized crime. The dissertation takes different contradictory understandings seriously – accepts them as logically incompatible but assumes that they are interdependent on an overall level of significance.
Based on four specific contexts – such as the graffiti of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War and the zero-tolerance 1990s in Stockholm – the dissertation examines how institutions and other social interests acted to directly or indirectly influence the understanding of graffiti as art, as crime and as a broader socio-cultural phenomenon.
170 x 240 mm, 220 pages, English language, Released: 2014.