Art in the Cities: Visual Cross-Cultural Research on the Strategies of Aesthetic Upgrading of Urban Environment

Thursday, 14 July 2016: 09:00-10:30
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
WG03 Visual Sociology (host committee)

Language: English

For a growing number of people cities are becoming the place where to spend their lifetime. One of the conditions which make urban life more livable and enjoyable, in a word happier, is the aesthetic quality of the urban environment. The rich social-scientific research as well as everyday experience prove that in an aesthetically rewarding environment people feel more secure, enchanted, mobilized, working more efficiently and enjoying life better. 
There are many directions in which aesthetic upgrading of the cities may proceed: restoration of ancient monuments, revitalization of traditional districts, infusing streets and squares with works of modern art, and on the reverse side – eliminating kitsch, chaos and oppressive commercialization. All of these strategies are rich in visual effects and are accessible for visual studies (particularly photography and video-documentation). 
Most interesting are spontaneous efforts of the people mobilized from below (e.g. street art, graffiti, etc.), coordinated community actions, efforts of NGOs or social movements. There are already many cases of  such initiatives in  many cities of the world, and some of them may be paving the way for better future, as exemplaries and models for others. 
The purpose of the session is to visually illustrate in comparative, cross-cultural perspective the ways in which in various parts of the world with different civilizational and cultural backgrounds, art has been able to successfully enter the urban spaces. The session welcomes papers presenting visual documentation (preferably photographic projects) accompanied by other sociological methods, either by means of photo-interviews, ethnography, etc.
Session Organizer:
Piotr SZTOMPKA, Jagiellonian University, Poland
Piotr SZTOMPKA, Jagiellonian University, Poland
The “Pintadas” like a Way of Citizen Communication. the Case in Downtown Bogota (Colombia)
Sergio ALVARADO VIVAS, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Colombia; Jose Ignacio CHAVES, Corporacion Universitaria Minuto de Dios, Colombia
Aesthetic Upgrading of Urban Environments: The Case of Urban Sculptures in the Post-Soviet Societies
Ekaterina LYTKINA, National Research University Higher School of Economics Laboratory for Comparative Social Research, Russia
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