Monday, September 17, 2007

Imagined geographies and graffiti

For the first time in human history more of us now live in urban sites than rural, amid growing diversity and struggle for access to diminishing resources and political power. Henri Lefebvre noted that,
The urban space of the street is a place for talk, given over as much to the exchange of words and signs as it is to the exchange of things. A place where speech becomes writing. A place where speech can become ‘savage’ and, by escaping rules and institutions, inscribe itself on walls.
It seems to me that the autobiographical writings, the scrawled messages, and the more ambitious art projects written on the spaces of the urban are important, albeit often unsanctioned, texts. I'm finding graffiti in all its forms very interesting, particularly in relation to issues of public space and Said's notion of imagined geographies.