Images of Activism and Protest in Modern Art: Towards a Visual Criminology of Risk?

Thursday, July 17, 2014: 6:10 PM
Room: Booth 52
Oral Presentation
John Martin CHAMBERLAIN , Social Science, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom
This paper examples images of protest in the work of graffiti street artists, such as Banksy and Osgemeos, as well as more traditionally documentary techniques of photo-journalism, in relation to examples of political activism and public protest in different countries worldwide.  

Against the background of consideration of the criminological study of neoliberal forms of governance, social indicators and professional and media-driven definitions of criminality and risk, the paper examines the value of visual and artistic documents for exploring the representation of everyday life and promoting an ethnographic form of narrative criminology focused on the life stories of the socially marginalized, excluded and disposed.  

The paper explores how criminology as an academic discipline has yet to embrace methodological pluralism. While it is arguable that the study of crime and risk brings to the foreground the need to recognize the importance of answering the perennial question of “whose side are we one”? In concludes how in these high/post-modern times of globalized risks – such as the financial crisis, terrorism, health scares and global warming - focusing on “the visual” through the median of modern and contemporary art reinforces the need to develop a criminology of risk and uncertainty which is both politically engaged and methodological nuanced and robust.