Weapons of Countervisuality? Street Art As a Practice of Rule or Resistance
At the same time, it would be naïve to consider street art as a genuine “weapon of resistance” for the subaltern and the oppressed. This genre of art is increasingly being used by powerful actors such as governments and companies to spread messages of advertisement and propaganda.
In my PhD thesis, I am investigating the potential of street art as a means of visual political communication for both protesters and powerful actors. How does the appearance of street art in the mass media change the perception of the crisis and the protests against it?
In Visual Culture, images are seen as a “constantly challenging place of social interaction” (Mirzoeff 1999). Going further into Critical Visual Theory, I am discussing Nicholas Mirzoeff´s ("The Right to Look", 2011) concept of “countervisuality”, as used by resistance actors. In terms of method, I am utilising Gillian Rose’s (2012) method of critical visual (discourse) analysis to analyse examples of street art images. Rose analyses images in three steps, namely 1) the site of the production, 2) the site of the image itself, and 3) the site of its audience. Within step 2), also Panofsky’s iconological approach is applied.