An Urban Carnival on the City Walls: The Visual Representation of Financial Power in European Street Art

Journal of Visual Culture 14 (2):246-252 (2015)

Andrea Baldini
NanJing University
By discussing a selection of socially engaged street artworks from the Frankfurt-based project ‘Under Art Construction’, this essay sheds light on street art’s possibilities as a form of resistance against the power of globalizing finance. The author argues that through the use of carnivalesque strategies of irony and appropriation, street art can challenge the pretense of rationality of recent policies of austerity in the eurozone. Such a challenge exposes the contingency of spending cut programs. He finally suggests that, in debunking the myth of economic rationality, street art can change people’s experience of finance, while opening up a space for imagining alternative economic scenarios.
Keywords street art  graffiti  austerity  social justice  social resistance  Foucault  carnival
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