The “Pintadas” like a Way of Citizen Communication. the Case in Downtown Bogota (Colombia)

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Oral Presentation
Sergio ALVARADO VIVAS, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Colombia
Jose Ignacio CHAVES, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Colombia
The purpose of this paper is to analyze several painted messages that can be found on the walls in the centre of Bogota and how they constitute an alternative way of social communication for the citizens. Supported by the Communication, Government and Citizenship line of research from, the Master in Communication, Development and Social Change,, this research considers relevant to take some distance from the traditional graffiti concept, since graffiti studies focuses on the image represented (its aesthetic quality) and the authors, more than on the content or messages which the image itself might transmit. Due to this, we will use the so-called term "pintadas" from the Spanish language, as this term not only conveys the aesthetic quality of the images, but also reflects on the social or political meaning or signification expressed by the authors through the images painted in public spaces.  "Pintadas" also assumes artistic works like graffitis but only if they have a communicative component about social or political revindication. Based on a visual sociology method, this research used fieldwork as a essential process for recollecting information. All along this field work, we have recognized and observed the urban space, taken photographs and written a field journal. As a result, we have identified that the “pintadas” are positioned in Bogotá as a dynamic way of publicizing the citizens demands and are an alternative way of communication. Several messages were classified into categories such as: Education, Peace, Resistance and Peasantry, which reflects another way to communicate through and which citizens appropriate as part of the public sphere, making their participation visible and expressing their opinion. Demonstrating how big city walls collect citizenship expressions that most of the time don’t feel represented and that neither hold nor have a place in the mainstream news media.