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Farid Samir Benavides-Vanegas

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From Santander to Camilo and Che: Graffiti and Resistance in Contemporary Colombia

This article reads political graffiti by Colombian students as deliberately un-named assemblages of resistance that — unsigned, nameless, and hybrid — seem to harbor a capacity to mobilize a wide variety of social grass-roots energy. The author examines the ways in which the micro-sociological practices of everyday life become a site of struggle between incorporation and resistance in the face of the inscription of the neocolonial imperative on the fabric of the urban environment. His article explores the ways in which (in a Latin American context) processes of cultural and economic imperialism, symbolically associated with the United States, are resisted through a diverse range of socio-spatial practices, most notably the use of graffiti, to re-appropriate physical spaces and reconfigure them as explicitly resistant, oppositional, and counter-hegemonic.

Colombia, graffiti, resistance, namelessness, grass-roots mobilization

Citation: Social Justice Vol. 32, No. 1 (2005): 53-61.

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